Home > Dearest Ivie (Black Dagger Brotherhood #15.5)(11)

Dearest Ivie (Black Dagger Brotherhood #15.5)(11)
Author: J.R. Ward

Chapter Six

So if those one hundred and twenty minutes over dinner had flown by, the eight hours of Ivie’s shift more than made up the difference. When she finally got home, it felt like twelve years since she had left her apartment to wait for Silas in the vestibule, all full of excitement and giddy anticipation.

Man, she had crashed that happy little dinner into a brick wall, hadn’t she.

As her father always said, if you were going to do something, do it well. So clearly, on that front, she had been bound and determined to offend a guy who had been nothing but decent to her. And it was especially hypocritical of her, considering she knew damn well that rich people got sick and struggled and suffered losses, too.

Hello, her nursing career?

When her phone went off, she put her purse down, found the damn thing, and answered her father’s call with a false everything-is-fine.

“Hi, Dad! Yup, home safe. I had a great night at work, and now I’m going to watch some TV and go to bed. Yup, I’m coming tomorrow. I can’t wait—yes, I know they said no presents, and I listened this year. I just don’t understand why they won’t—I understand pride, but come on. Okay. Yeah. Love to Mom—what? Oh, of course. I’ll be on time.”

Hanging up, she stared at the cell’s little screen until it went dark. In the back of her mind, all night long, she had been trying out texts to Silas, practicing combinations of words, punctuation, and emojis, attempting to find some correct amalgam that made up for her being so prejudicial and doing to him exactly what she had been worried that he would do to her—

As her phone rang in her hand, her heart jumped in her throat and she fumbled to answer it. “Hello—hello, Silas? Hello?”

There was a beat of silence. “Hey.”

“Hey.” She sagged. “Listen, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean for it—”

“Can you let me come up for a sec?”

“What? You’re here? Oh, God, absolutely.”

She all but raced for the buzzer, and she held the damn thing way to long, the eeeee­eeeee­eeeee­ehhhh sound ringing in her ears, not that she cared. Opening the door, she stepped out and smoothed her scrubs.

The clothes she had worn during their date were in her shoulder bag. She hadn’t wanted to put them back on. Hell, she’d been thinking of burning them to cleanse her life of the bad juju.

Silas stepped out of the stairwell and he was slow coming down to her. “Hey.”

“I’m sorry. I really am.”

As he stopped in front of her, she wanted to throw her arms around him, but she held back. Lord knew she had already trampled all kinds of boundaries.

“You know what I would like even more than an apology?” he said.

“Name it and it’s yours. You want a kidney? Part of my liver?”

“I want an invitation to tomorrow night. That will make up for everything.”

Ivie took a deep breath. “Ah, do you want to come in? We can do this out in the hall, but maybe—”

He answered that one by stepping around her and entering her apartment. While she shut them in, he went over and sat on the sofa.

Leaning back against the door, she murmured, “You look tired.”

Silas rubbed his head and then his face. With a curse, he sank back into the cushions. “Preparations.”

“Are you packing up your whole house here? I mean, taking everything with you?”

He closed his eyes. “It’s more getting my affairs in order. I won’t actually be taking much with me.”

The yawn he cranked out was so wide, his jaw cracked, and then his chest rose and fell again.

“Tomorrow night,” he murmured, “I would love to go. It’s up to you.”

She tried to imagine him in the noisy cacophony of her parents’ house with her family. Plus Rubes would be there, and that female was going to have a field day with all kinds of romantic notions and Lifetime movies spinning in her head.

Crossing her arms over her chest, Ivie cleared her throat. “They might ask you things you don’t want to answer.”

He tilted his head toward her and opened his eyes. “Like what my intentions are with you?”

“Maybe. Yes.”

“With you, I don’t have intentions.”

“Well, obviously because you’re moving—”

“It’s too late for intentions.” He smiled a little. “You’re in my life. You’re in my heart. And if you want me to keep that to myself, I will. Happy to. I can understand why you won’t want to get pelted with questions after I’m gone.”

Ivie tilted her head to one side. “How is it that you always know the right thing to say?”

“Only with you, dearest Ivie. Only with you.”

“Seriously, you look beat. You’re welcome to stay here for the day. I mean, I know it’s not as fancy or safe as your house no doubt is, but it’s warm and dark.” She laughed. “Now there’s a Travelocity advertisement, huh?”

“I have to go.”

“Did you drive?”

“If you don’t want to me to be with your family, I understand.”

Moving off the door, she went over and kneeled down in front of him. “I would love it. I would really like you to come with me.”

Even though he didn’t lift his head, his smile was as wide as the great outdoors, his fangs flashing, his cheeks stretching wide. “That’s good. That’s…great.”

“They can be a lot to handle. I’m just saying.”

“I’m tough enough. I can take it.”

Easing herself between his legs, she leaned up against his body. “Can I suggest something?”

“What did you have in mind?” He brushed a strand of her hair back. “And does it involve this couch? Because last night, I think we put it to very good use.”

“Would you like to take my vein?”

He recoiled even though his head had nowhere to go. And the shock on his face made her feel chagrined.

She put her hands up defensively. “Yes, I know I’m not an aristocrat so my blood isn’t as pure as what you’re used to—”

“Don’t say that,” he said with a frown. “Jesus, don’t say that ever.”

“Well, you look a little shocked.”

“It’s just…”

When he didn’t finish the thought, she eased back so she was kneeling. “I didn’t mean to make things awkward. But that does seem to be my theme for tonight. Maybe I should have checked my horoscope. It probably says something like, Keep your mouth shut.”

Silas sat forward and took her face in his hands, in that way he did. “You would do that for me?”

“Of course. I mean…well, you look like you could use it. When was the last time you fed?”

He answered the question by virtue of his scent, that spice of his flaring, his eyes going to her wrist, which was bare.

Instantly, she was hot all over.

“Not there,” she said huskily. “Here.”

Moving her dark hair to the side, she stroked her jugular. “I want you here. At my throat.”

His chest started to pump up and down, and a growl permeated the silence of her apartment. “Are you sure?”

“Oh, yes.”

To punctuate the point, she took off the top half of her scrubs, the stiff cotton going up and over her head with ease. As his eyes went to her bra, she arched forward and reached back between her shoulder blades, freeing the fastening—

She didn’t get any further than that.

With hands that were rough, Silas grabbed on to her and all but threw her on her back on the couch. And then he was on top of her, pressing her down into the cushions, his pale eyes volcanic, his body strung like a steel cable, his fangs elongating.

In a voice that was deliciously demanding, he said, “Even if I can’t stop?”

He wasn’t talking about taking too much from her vein. No, as he rolled his hips so she could feel his arousal, she knew damn well he meant sex.

“I don’t want you to stop.”

“There isn’t a lot of time. I have things I have to do at home. I won’t be able to stay afterward—”

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