|No, wait. He knew one of them. One of them had ordered him around. The
female. But why?
And why the hell had he let her?
He listened to
her talk without really following the words. Her cadence of speech was like a
male’s. Direct. Authoritative. Commanding.
Who was she? Who-
identity hit him like a slap, stunning some sense into him. The surgeon. The
human surgeon who’d operated on him. Jesus Christ, he was in a human hospital.
He’d fallen into human hands after… shit, what had happened to him tonight?
Panic energized him… and got him exactly nowhere. His body was a slab
of meat and he had a feeling the tube down his throat meant a machine was
working out his lungs. Clearly, they’d sedated the shit out of him.
God, how close to dawn was it? He needed to get the hell away from here. How was
he going to-
His escape planning got cut off. In fact all his thought
processes went dark… because his instincts started to fire.
the fighter in him coming out, though. It was all those possessive male impulses
that had always been dormant, the ones he’d read about or heard about or seen in
others, but had assumed he was insulated from. The trigger was a scent in the
room, the scent of a male who wanted sex… with the female, with V’s surgeon.
The word came from out of nowhere and along with it a
mighty urge to kill came in for a landing. He was so outraged his eyes flipped
Turning his head, he saw a tall human woman with a short cap of
blond hair. She wore rimless glasses, no make up, no earrings. Her white coat
read Jane Whitcomb, M.D., Department of Surgery in black cursive letters.
“Manny,” she said, “are you out of your mind?”
V shifted his
stare to a dark-haired human male. The guy was also in a white coat only his
said Manuel Manello, M.D., Surgeon-in-Chief on the lapel.
guy replied. His voice was deep and demanding, his eyes way too fricking fixated
on V’s surgeon. “And I know what I want.”
Mine, V thought. Not yours.
“We fight all the time, Manny,” she said.
“I know.” The
bastard smiled. “I like that. No one stands up to me but you, Jane.”
upper lip pulled off his fangs. As he started to growl, that one word rolled
around his brain, a grenade with the pin out: Mine.
The human male
glanced down and seemed surprised. “Christ… someone’s awake.”
better fucking believe it, V thought. And if you touch her, I’m going to bite
your godforsaken arm off at the socket.
Jane Whitcomb looked at her
patient. Against all odds, and all the sedatives in his veins, his eyes were
open and he was staring up out of his hard, tattooed face with full cognition.
God… those eyes. They were unlike any she’d seen before, the irises
unnaturally white with navy blue rims. As they stared up at her, she could have
sworn they glowed.
This was not right, she thought. The way he looked at
her wasn’t right. That six-chambered heart beating in his chest wasn’t right.
Those long teeth in the front of his mouth weren’t right.
about his anomalies was instinctual, but felt as irrefutable as a statement of
fact. He was not human, she told herself.
God, that was ridiculous,
though. Maybe she was just hearing hoof prints and thinking zebras? Either way
it didn’t matter, she thought. She and her colleagues were going to study the
shit out of him as he healed, that was for sure.
“I’ll leave you to
him,” Manny said. “But think about it, Jane. Think about me.”
door eased shut behind her boss, she shook her head on that mess and focused on
the man in the hospital bed. He stared back at her, somehow managing to loom
even though he was intubated and only two hours out of trauma surgery.
How the hell was this guy conscious?
“Can you hear me?” she
asked. “Nod your head if you can.”
His hand, the one with the tattoos,
clawed at his throat then grabbed onto the tube going into his mouth and started
“No, you don’t. That stays in.” As she leaned in to stop him,
he whipped his hand back from her, moving it as far away as his arm would allow.
“That’s right. Don’t make me restrain you.”
At the threat, his eyes went
utterly wide in terror, just peeled open while his big body started to shake.
His lips worked against the tube down his throat as if he were crying out.
His fear touched her for some reason. Probably because there was
something animalistic about it, as in the way a wolf might look at you if his
leg was caught in a trap: help me and maybe I won’t kill you when you set me
Too bad she sucked with the sympathy thing.
She patted his
forearm awkwardly. “Okay, okay… Just leave it-”
The door to the
private room opened wide and Jane froze as two men came in. Both were dressed in
black leather and looked like the type who’d carry concealed weapons. One had a
Red Sox hat pulled down low. The other was probably the biggest, most gorgeous
blond man she’d ever eyeballed.
Looking at the pair, Jane’s first
thought was that they had come for her patient and not just to bring him flowers
and yak it up.
Her second thought was that she was going to need
“Get out,” she said. “Right now.”
The guy in
front, the one with the Sox cap, completely ignored her. He went over to the
bedside and grabbed the patient’s hand. As the two made eye contact, Red Sox
said, “We’re going to get you home. Right now.”
Jane didn’t bother with
any more chatty-Kathy shit. She lunged for the nursing station call button, the
one that signaled a cardiac emergency and would bring half the floor to her.
She didn’t make it.
Red Sox’s buddy, the beautiful blond, moved
so fast she couldn’t track him. One moment he was just inside the door, the next
he’d grabbed her from behind and popped her feet off the floor. As she started
to holler, his hand clamped over her mouth and he subdued her easily, like she
was a mere child.
Meanwhile, right in front of her, Red Sox
systematically stripped the patient of everything: the intubation, the IV, the
catheter, the cardiac wires, the oxygen monitor.
Jane went ballistic. As
alarms started going off from the machines, she hauled back and kicked her
captor in the leg. The blond behemoth grunted but then just squeezed her ribcage
until she got so busy trying to breathe she couldn’t soccer-smash him anymore.
At least the alarms would-
The shrill beeping fell silent even
though no one touched the machines. And she had the horrible sense that no one
Jane fought harder, until she strained so hard her eyes
“Easy,” the blond said in her ear. “We’ll be out of your hair
in a minute. Just relax.”
Yeah, the hell she would. They were going to
kill her patient-
The patient took a deep breath on his own. And
another. And another.
Then those eerie diamond eyes shifted over to her
and she stilled, as if he’d willed her to do so.
There was a moment of
silence. And then in a rough voice, her patient spoke four words that changed
everything… changed her life, changed her destiny:
“She. Comes. With.