Preyuna stared at the mound of empty white wrappers stuffed in her hiding spot in the freezer.
She pulled the whole mess out and laid them on the table in even lines.
She went back in the freezer to check for any survivors.
She found two more empty wrappers.
And nothing else.
She slammed the freezer door.
Jay did this.
That stupid, frumpy guard did this.
It makes sense.
It makes so much sense.
He did this as revenge for my claiming Isellta.
“I hope Isellta doesn’t wake for him. It would serve that stupid guard right.”
She opened the freezer door and slammed it again.
She sat at the table and covered her face with her hands.
I wish I were home.
“Missy, you’re safe. You are here and you are safe.”
Missy smiled. “Of course! I’m XQ.”
“Your scent had grown cold and I didn’t know where you were, what happened, what…” He bowed his head. “But you are safe.”
“It’s daytime. What could possibly go wrong during the day?”
“Antioch. I may be his lord, but I do not trust him. I believe he will do anything to hurt us.”
“No. Not us. Just you.” She leaned her face against the top of his head. “He is a dangerous man to have for an enemy.”
She was silent for a moment.
“You shouldn’t have changed him.”
He went silent.
“I mean, it was bad enough you stole me away from him but then you changed him and ruined his life not to sound overly dramatic but it’s true. His life is ruined. He can’t eat the things he likes anymore. He can’t work during the day anymore. He can’t—-”
“I am aware of the things he can longer do, Missy.”
“Oh.” She sat back on her feet.
“Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do to undo his change. If I could…If there were a way, I would do it no matter the risk. I would do it for you, Missy.”
His voice softened as he said, “I am sorry. Perhaps not so much for him. He did try to kill you. I am sorry that I failed to think of how it would affect you. It never occurred to me that his change would hurt you. I am sorry for that.”
She looked down at her engagement ring. “It did hurt me. It felt like a slap to my face and a knife to my gut at the same time. He was the only one in The Institute besides Professor Hrashna who seemed to care about me. But now I see that the Professor was the only one who truly did. Antioch didn’t care about me at all and that hurts even worse than what you did to him.”
He moved closer to her.
She raised her gaze to the middle of his bare chest. “You won’t turn out like that, will you?”
“Never. I swear what you see and what you hear is who I am.” He laid his hand along the side of her face. “This is who I truly am: A butler, a vampire, a man. A man who is deeply in love with you: Missy. Teresa Farsigh. XQ.”
She couldn’t resist.
She flung herself into his bare arms and kissed the middle of his chest.
Raven closed his eyes and leaned his head back as her kisses traveled up to his neck.
And that’s when his day exhaustion kicked him down.
Missy caught him before he hit the floor.
He looked up at her. “Missy.”
She smiled. “You’re safe with me.”