Lover eternal, p.13
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       Lover Eternal, p.13

         Part #2 of Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J. R. Ward
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Chapter Thirteen

  Rhage materialized in the courtyard between the Pit and the mansion.

  He couldn't put an exact bead on the sensation inside his skin, but it was some kind of low-level buzz in his muscles and bones, like the vibration of a tuning fork. What he did know for sure was that he'd never felt the hum before. And that it had kicked off the moment his mouth had touched Mary's.

  Since anything new and different with his body was bad, he'd immediately gotten the hell away from her, and not being around the female seemed to help. Trouble was, now that the feeling was fading, his body's need for release was causing him to twitch. Which wasn't fair. After the beast came out, he usually got at least a few days off.

  He checked his watch.

  Damn it, he wanted to go out hunting for lessers to take himself down a notch or two, but since Tohr had taken over command of the Brotherhood, new rules had been laid out.

  After changing, Rhage was supposed to cool his jets for a couple days until he was back on all burners. With Darius's death this past summer, the number of brothers had been reduced to six, and then Wrath had ascended to the throne, so they were just five now. The race couldn't afford to lose another warrior.

  The forced R & R made sense, but he hated being told what to do. And he couldn't stand not being out in the field, especially when he needed to drain off some juice.

  Taking a set of keys from his coat, he went over to his souped-up GTO. The car came awake with a roar, and a minute and a half later he was out on the open road. He didn't know which direction he was headed in. Didn't care.

  Mary. That kiss.

  God, her mouth had been unbelievably sweet as it trembled under his, so sweet he'd wanted to part her lips with his tongue and slide inside of her. Slide and retreat and come back again for another taste. And then do the same with his body between her legs.

  Except he'd had to stop. Whatever that hum was, it got him wired, so it was dangerous. The damn reaction didn't make sense, though. Mary calmed him, brought him some ease. Sure, he wanted her, and that was going to wire him out, but it shouldn't be enough to get him dangerous.

  Ah, hell. Maybe he'd misinterpreted the response. Maybe that current had been sexual attraction of a more profound sort than he was used to. . . Which was typically nothing but the urge to come just so his body was less likely to flip out on him.

  He thought about the females he'd had. There had been countless numbers of them, all nameless, faceless bodies he'd released into, not one of them a source of real pleasure for him. He'd touched them and kissed them only because unless they got off too, he felt like a total user.

  Shit, he felt like a user anyway. He was a user.

  So even if he hadn't been thrown by the buzz from kissing Mary, he still would have left her in that parking lot. With her lovely voice and her warrior eyes and her trembling mouth, Mary could not be just another screw. Taking her, even if she was willing, seemed like a violation of something pure. Something better than he was.

  His cell phone rang and he took it out of his pocket. As he checked caller ID, he cursed, but answered the thing anyway. "Hey, Tohr. I was going to call you. "

  "I just saw your car peel out of here. Are you meeting the human female now?"

  "I already did. "

  "That was quick. She must have treated you right. "

  Rhage ground his teeth. For once he had no quick comeback. "I talked to her about the kid. We've got no problem there. She likes him, she feels badly for him, but if he disappeared, she wouldn't cause a problem. She only met him recently. "

  "Good job, Hollywood. So where you headed now?"

  "Just driving. "

  Tohr's voice softened. "You hate not being able to fight, don't you?"

  "Wouldn't you?'

  "Of course, but don't worry, tomorrow night will come soon enough, and you'll be back in action. In the meantime, you could work off a little more of that sauce of yours at One Eye. " Tohr chuckled. "By the way, I heard about the sisters you did two nights ago, one right after another. Man, you're amazing, you know that?"

  "Yeah, Tohr, can I ask you a favor?"

  "Anything, my brother. "

  "Could you not. . . ride me about the females?" Rhage took a deep breath. "Because the truth is, I hate it, I really do. "

  He meant to stop there, but suddenly the words were coming out and he couldn't shut up.

  "I hate the anonymity of it. I hate the way my chest aches afterward. I hate the smells on my body and in my hair when I get home. But most of all, I hate the fact that I'm going to have to do it again because if I don't, I could end up hurting one of you guys or some innocent bystander," He exhaled through his mouth. "And those two sisters you're so impressed with? See, here's the thing. I only pick the ones who don't give a shit who they're with, because otherwise it's not fair. Those two bar chippies checked out my watch and my roll and figured I was a pimp trophy. The fucking was about as intimate as a car accident And tonight? You're going home to Wellsie. I'm going home alone. Just like I did yesterday. Just like I'm going to do the day after. The whoring isn't fun for me, and it's been killing me for years, so please give it a rest, dig?"

  There was a long silence. "Jesus. . . I'm sorry. I didn't know. I had no idea¡ª"

  "Yeah, ah. . . " He really needed to stop this conversation. "Look, I gotta go. I gotta. . . go. Later. "

  "No, wait, Rhage¡ª"

  Rhage turned his phone off and pulled over to the side of the road. As he looked around, he realized he was out in the middle of nowhere, with nothing but the forest for company. He put his head down on the steering wheel.

  Visions of Mary came to him. And he realized he'd neglected to scrub her memories.

  Neglected? Yeah, right. He hadn't cleaned her out because he wanted to see her again. And he wanted her to remember him.

  Oh, man. . . This was bad stuff. All the way around.

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