I stared back at him and his gobsmacked expression, but instead of answering his ‘what’, I countered with my own ‘what’.
“Do you know what does your blood does besides heal?”
Because if my libido had been broken – which it wasn’t, thank you very much – that bitch was primed and firing on cylinders now. All I wanted to do was throw him down and have my wicked way with him again and again, but the only thing stopping me was knowing my silvery touch would hurt him.
Instead of the Midas touch, I had the Hephaestus touch. Because touching Eric wouldn’t turn him into gold, but it would sure as hell burn him like fire. And the only other thing keeping me coherent and my grabby hands to myself was knowing he was in danger too.
We all were if they knew who and what he was.
Whoever ‘they’ were.
“No,” he finally replied, shaking his head and making his confusion over my lack of a segue known by adding, “Why? And why do you think they know I’m involved in the fight against the werewolves?”
My brain felt like it was a snow globe wedged inside one of those paint can shakers at The Home Depot, with a million and one thoughts swirling around and all of them playing bumper cars inside of my head, smashing and crashing into one another. I didn’t remember feeling this way after the last time I’d had his blood, but it was the only thing I could think of that would be the cause.
It felt like I’d mainlined Red Bull cut with Ericstasy.
Trying to focus, I forced myself to concentrate on answering the first half of his question by saying, “Because I feel hopped up and I really want to hop on you and make you my naked Hippity Hop for the rest of the night even though that’s the last thing I should be thinking about.”
Or talking about since it only made me think about it.
So I closed my eyes so I couldn’t see his Hippity Hop Hotness and made my attention go back to the reason for his gobsmack, explaining, “And the Werewolf Whisperer told me he knows it was you back at the hotel in L.A. That’s why he took me. He thought I would know what was going on and when I didn’t tell him anything, he…you know…made them…” I couldn’t force myself to say the words ‘made them attack me’, knowing it wouldn’t do either one of us any good now and only said, “I passed out, so I guess they used me as bait to get you to come.”
Recalling the last of what I remembered before passing out for the second time, my eyes popped open as I nearly shouted, “What about the guys? Are they okay?”
Eric was stronger than them, but I didn’t know how well they would fare against the wolves.
Those fuckers were huge.
And there I was, hoping to hop Eric on down my fuck-like-bunnies trail when they could be hurt.
“They’re fine, but we should probably get back now,” he said and reached out, but thought better of it for a split second, remembering I was currently the stand-in for Anthony Kiedis as the front man for the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Then he didn’t seem to care about that at all because he wrapped his arms around me and shot us up into the air before saying, “Please return your trays and seats into the upright position as we come in for landing.”
Remembering the last landing I really wished I’d thought to put ‘Oh shit’ grab bars onto his costume, but he surprised me by landing us softly on the grass in front of his house and both of us made our way inside.
We could hear the sounds of voices coming from downstairs, so we both headed for the lab and found the guys.
And three men.
Dead naked men.
“Well you’re lookin’ a helluva lot better,” Jake grinned at what I was sure was my sourpuss seeing them.
The three dead naked men. Not the three men who’d come to help rescue me.
“Eric,” I shrugged and explained, “He does a body good.” But remembering how much me and my dress had been through in the last twenty-four hours, I wanted a shower in the worst way. So I quickly gave them a rundown of the worst day of my life before sprinting back up the stairs and into Eric’s spa-like bathroom.
When I felt more like myself, I rejoined them downstairs in the lab and saw that they all had changed. Eric must have showered in one of the other bathrooms because his hair was still damp, but as soon as he saw me he wrapped his arms around me and nuzzled against my cheek sighing, “Much better. You’re still hot, but you don’t burn.”
“Good,” I smiled, almost expecting to hear him purr from the way he was snuggling me, but I’d learned a while ago how much Eric liked to snuggle. However now wasn’t the time for it, so I put a little bit of distance between us and noticed they’d started autopsying one of the bodies.
So I closed that little bit of distance and buried my head in his chest, blindly gesturing towards the peeled open chest cavity and murmuring, “Ew…have you learned anything?”
“Besides the fact that you’re squeamish?” Eric chuckled, so I playfully smacked his side, making him add, “All of their internal organs are perfectly healthy. And I mean perfectly healthy. Heart, lungs, liver, kidneys…it’s like they’re fresh off of the human factory assembly line. There’re no signs of any abnormalities, which is the only thing abnormal about them. Furnan looked to be in his early forties, so there should be some signs of aging in his body that would indicate the natural decline all humans begin to go through, regardless of how health conscious he may have been. But there aren’t any. In any of them.”
“So what does that mean?” I asked, pulling away but keeping my eyes away from the bodies.
“I don’t know,” he shrugged. “But I would hypothesize whatever they were injected with not only changed their physical composition to be able to morph into werewolves, but it healed whatever maladies they may have had before the transformation took place. Godric is running tests on their blood now to try and determine what the differences are between their blood and all of ours.”
If it was there, Godric would find it, but my eyes happened to land on one of the flat screens and I couldn’t help but notice it was tuned into one of the local news stations.
And it appeared my little appearance on the red carpet was the top news story of the day.
Pulling away from Eric, I walked towards it with my mouth gaping open before turning to him and saying, “I told you panties were necessary!”
Normally I wasn’t one who embarrassed easily. A byproduct of my inner love child, I supposed. But being on what I was sure would become a national – if not international – news story, with my dress hiked up around my waist was apparently enough to make me blush.
Thank God for the blood coating my thighs to hide the cellulite.
I knew there were bigger things we had to worry about, but I was currently in my own little mortified world and I had a feeling it would take a pound of chocolate per pound of Sookie being shoved into my mouth before it would either go away or fall into a sugar coma.
The guys were all slumped onto the couch, so Jake pulled me down onto it with them and pet my hair, joking, “There there…we all knew you wore them. Now we just know what they look like.”
“Asshole,” I snickered, trying and failing to give him a nut tap via my elbow.
“Does it make you feel any better to know they haven’t figured out it was you yet?” John asked. And when I turned to look at him, he motioned towards the screen and added, “Your face.”
My eyes had been too busy looking at my business being shown for all of the world to see, but looking now I could see what he was talking about. There hadn’t been anyway for me to know how bad I looked at the time and thanks to having Eric’s blood, my injuries were healed before I ever got in front of a mirror.
But now I could see just how swollen my face had been. My eyes were nearly swollen shut, which may have been why everything had been so blurry to me then, and the bruises and swollen lip only added to my disfigurement.
And blonds with a big rack were a dime a dozen in L.A., so I could be anyone.
My eyes were glued to the screen now and they were replaying the event on a continuous loop, with the reporters talking nonstop about who the four mystery men and damsel in distress were.
“We need to come up with a name,” Jake huffed, hearing them being referred to as ‘The Masked Men’ and sat back with his arms crossed over his chest.
Yeah…because that should be our number one priority.
But since I’d had enough drama for one extremely long night, I was willing to play his game and said, “Well, The Avengers is already taken. Marvel Comics.”
“So is The Justice League. DC Comics,” Alcide offered.
“The Punishers?” Jake asked.
“Nope,” Alcide answered and added, “Already taken. Marvel.”
“The Vigilantes?” I asked.
“DC Comics,” Jake sighed.
John was normally the sanest of the bunch, but even he seemed like he was ready for a little lightheartedness and said, “We’re soldiers, first and foremost, so whatever we’re called it should have something to do with that.”
“And they’re calling themselves The Authority, so…who bucks authority?” I asked, with my mind running through my mental thesaurus.
Alcide was the first one to speak up, saying, “Calling ourselves insurgents would be a bad idea, but what about The Dissenters Division?”
“Anything to get you closer to double D’s, huh?” Jake laughed.
“What about The Contingent?” I asked, ignoring their boob talk, and explained, “It has a dual meaning. Your presence would only be contingent on the werewolves making an appearance and it means a group of military personnel too.”
“Not bad,” Jake nodded, but then asked, “But what if they try to shorten it and call us The Cunts?”
“Well then I’ll need a new pair of panties because I’ll ruin the ones I’m wearing when I piss myself,” I laughed.
I would too.
I heard Eric chuckle from across the room, but he was bent over one of the dead bodies, rooting around for something I wanted no part in knowing about. But even so, I hadn’t eaten in a long time, so I pretended he wasn’t elbow deep in somebody’s innards and pushed myself up and off of the couch asking, “Who wants breakfast?”
Unsurprisingly, three hands shot up in the air. I’d gotten used to cooking for a small army for the last week, so I left them to do whatever it was they did and headed to the kitchen where I could pretend everything was normal for just a little while.
My time in the land of make believe didn’t last very long though.
I was just plating up the food and getting ready to call them when my cell phone rang. I’d noticed it charging on the nightstand when I’d gone to take a shower and was grateful Eric thought to grab my purse the night before. I’d just shoved it into my pocket out of habit, but considering it was nearing 3 A.M. I couldn’t even begin to think of who could be calling.
But hearing the voice on the other end of the line when I answered made me realize my snow globe brain had left out one very important detail when I told Eric about my time in captivity.
“Hello Miss Stackhouse,” he purred. “Be a dear and put Eric on the phone, won’t you?”
“Darth Victor?” I asked, with my stomach dropping and my appetite disappearing, hearing the now all too familiar voice. “Is that you?”