Midnight Breed: A Touch Of Midnight - Part 7

Part 7

Gideon stowed his bloodied blade and went to her. He pulled her trembling body under his arm and gently lifted her face. "Did he touch you?"

"No," she murmured. "But if you hadn't been here..."

He kissed her, a brief, tender brush of his mouth against hers. "I'm here. I will keep you safe, Savannah. Do you trust me?"

"Yes," she whispered. "I trust you." She peered around him, to where the dead Rogue was swiftly disintegrating, clothing and all. "But I don't understand any of this. How can any of this be real?"

"Come on." He took her hand in his. "There could be more where that one came from. We have to go now."

He led her out of the restroom, back into the bustle of the station. It wasn't until they were standing at the curb in the cool night air that Gideon realized he was at a loss as to where to go.

Savannah's apartment was across town, several miles away. Not that it seemed like a smart idea to take her there. He doubted very much that the Rogue going after her at the bus station was a random thing. Whoever put the suckhead on her trail would no doubt have her apartment under watch too. And as much as Gideon wanted to know who that someone was, Savannah's wellbeing was his sole concern now.

Which should have been cause enough to send him with her to the nearest Darkhaven.

To be sure, that would be the most logical, pragmatic choice. But logic and pragmatism could get f.u.c.ked right about now, for all he cared about that.

He wasn't ready to yank Savannah away from harrowing situation and a thousand questions in need of answers, only to turn her over to the diplomatic arm of the Breed nation. In fact, he was finding it hard to imagine a scenario where he'd ever be ready to hand her over to someone else and walk away. He felt her soft fingers tighten around his broad palm as she stood beside him in the dark, waiting for him to make his choice.

Trusting him to keep her safe, as he promised he would.

Gideon glanced into her velvet brown gaze and knew a sudden, fierce protectiveness surge through him. Sending her away now was out of the question. It was his duty to walk her into his world gently. He bristled at the thought of letting some stranger out of the Enforcement Agency or civilian ranks step in where this woman was concerned.

His woman.

The claim swept up on him from somewhere deep in his subconscious, a sharp, primal thing. It throbbed in his veins, drumming hard in his ears with every beat of his heart.

And he needed her too.

After seeing her so close to danger back in the station--after realizing how quickly he might have lost her tonight--Gideon wanted nothing more than pull Savannah against him and never let her out of his sight again.

He wasn't going to push her off on the Darkhavens or the Enforcement Agency, even if that meant willfully ignoring Breed protocol.

Even if that meant blatantly defying Lucan's orders.

Gideon reached into the pocket of his black fatigues and withdrew the sc.r.a.p of paper Tegan had given him back the compound earlier that day. He read it for a second time. Just an address, nothing more.

An address that was only a few blocks away from where he stood now.

He wasn't sure what to expect when they got there, but at the moment it seemed to be his best and only option.

"Let's go," he murmured, brushing his mouth against the warmth of her temple.

And with Savannah tucked under the shelter of his arm, clinging to him like a life line, Gideon guided her away from the busy bus terminal.

Chapter 10.

"What is this place?"

Savannah stood beside Gideon on a quiet, historic residential street little more than a mile from South Station, by her guess. Before them loomed a slim, three-story redbrick townhouse. It was stately, but unremarkably so next to its handsome, welcoming neighbors.

No lights glowed from within this house, no sounds emanated from within its walls. Its windows were dark, shuttered tight with black slatted panels. The iron-and-gla.s.s porch light was cold, leaving the walkway and stoop unlit as she and Gideon had made their way up to the heavy wood door.

The house, for all its seemingly deliberate effort to blend in with the others on the street, stood forbidding in its utter stillness.

Savannah rubbed off the chill that raced up her arms as she took in the stoic slab of brick and darkness. "Does anyone live here? It's as quiet as a tomb."

"I've never been here before," Gideon said. Head down, he stared with steady intent on the deadbolt drilled into the thick oak door. Although she didn't notice if he had a key, in mere seconds, the lock was freed and Gideon opened the door for her. "Come inside."

She followed him, pausing in the unfamiliar place, uncertain. Still shaken from what happened at the bus station. "It's so dark in here."

"Stay where you are." His deep voice with its soothing accent was a low rumble beside her, his blunt fingertips warm where he stroked the side of her face. "I'll find you some light."

She waited while he ably crossed the room and turned on a small lamp several feet away from her.

The soft illumination revealed a nearly vacant living s.p.a.ce. One lone chair--a rough-hewn relic from the turn of the previous century, at least--sat beside the simple wooden table where the lamp now glowed. On the other side of the room, the cold, black mouth of a fireplace seemingly long out of use laced the stale air with the acrid tinge of old wood smoke.

Savannah cautiously trailed Gideon as he left the main living area to enter an adjacent room. She crossed her arms in front of her, tucking her bare fingers in to her sides to avoid the inadvertent touch that would wake her extrasensory ability. She suspected this house had never been filled with family or laughter. She didn't need to rouse her gift and confirm it.

No, she'd had enough darkness to last her a good long while.

"We'll be safe here, Savannah." Gideon turned on another lamp in the s.p.a.ce where he stood now. He removed his black leather trench coat and laid it on the bed. Fastened around the hips of his black combat fatigues, he wore a thick belt studded with all manner of weapons--a pair of pistols, an array of knives, including the savage blade that he'd wielded back at the station. He took off the belt and placed it on top of his coat. "Savannah, I give you my word, I'm not going to let anything happen to you. You know you can trust me on that, yeah?"

She nodded and stepped into the modest bedroom, noting immediately the lack of decoration or personal effects. The bed was made, but fitted in plain sheets and a single pillow.

The kind of bed one might expect to see in a soldier's barracks, more so than a home.

There was a sadness in this place.

A deep, mournful sorrow.

And rage.

Black, raw...consuming.

Savannah shuddered under the weight of it. But it was the memory of what she witnessed earlier that night that threatened to take her legs out from under her.

"Gideon, what happened back there?" G.o.d, just speaking of it now made her head reel all over again. She had so many questions. They spilled out of her in a rush. "How did you know to look for me? How could you have known where I was--that I was in trouble behind that closed door of the restroom? How were you able to do what you did to that...that monster? I saw what happened. You stabbed him, and he--" She exhaled a shaky breath, wanting to deny what she witnessed, yet certain it was real. "You stabbed him and he disintegrated. You killed him as if it was no big thing. As if you'd seen that kind of monster a hundred times before."

"More times than that, Savannah." Gideon strode over to her, his handsome face sober, alarmingly so. "I've killed hundreds like him."

"Hundreds," she murmured, swallowing past the staggering word. "Gideon, that man...that creature...it wasn't human."


Savannah stared at him, struggling to process his calm reply. She had hoped he'd offer some kind of logical explanation for what was going on, some kind of reasonable denial that would soothe the panic rising inside her.

But the quick wit and rea.s.suring confidence that usually glinted in his blue eyes was nowhere to be found. His expression was filled with a quiet gravity that made him seem both tender and lethal at the same time. Two qualities she had seen firsthand in him during the short time she'd known him.

She drew in breath, tried to tamp down the hysteria that threatened to climb up her throat and choke off her air. "That same kind of monster killed Rachel. And those little boys I saw when I touched that old sword in the Art History collection--they were slaughtered by a group of that same kind of monster. I tried to tell you that when you came to check in on me at my apartment last night. I didn't want to believe it then. I still don't."

"I know." He reached out and gently smoothed his hand along her cheek. "And as I told you last night, I'm here for you, Savannah. I want to help you make sense of it all."

She stared up into his gaze. "Vampires," she said quietly, her voice threadbare, fear still raw and ripe in her breast. "That's what we're talking about, isn't it. That man at the bus terminal. The ones I saw when I touched the sword and Rachel's bracelet...they were vampires."

Something flickered in his gaze now. There was an uncharacteristic hesitation in his steady voice. "By the most basic definition, yes. That's what they were."

"Oh, my G.o.d." It had been hard enough to come to grips with the idea when it only lived in her head. But to hear him speak it now--to have witnessed Gideon gutting one of the creatures right in front of her--made the reality crash down on her like a suffocating wave. "You're telling me vampires are real. They're real, and you somehow know how to kill them."

"I, along with a few others like me, yes." He was studying her now, measuring her in some way, as if he wasn't sure she could handle his answers. "Not all of the Breed are like the one who came after you at the station. Or the one who killed your friend. Or the ones who murdered those innocent boys. Only Rogues do that, Savannah. The most depraved, diseased individuals."

"This is madness, Gideon. I don't want to hear any more right now. I can't."

"Savannah, you need to understand that there are dangers in this world. Dangers that few people truly comprehend. After tonight--after everything you've seen--you can't go back to your old life. Maybe not ever. You're part of something darker now, and there are things you need to know if you're going to survive--"

"No." She shook her head and drew away from Gideon's soothing touch. Everything was happening too fast. She was confused and shaken, too overwhelmed to process anything more. "I've heard enough for now. I don't want to hear any more about monsters or danger or death. I'm trying to hold it together, Gideon, but I'm just so f.u.c.king scared."

She put her face in her palms, struggling not to lose it in front of him, but failing miserably. A sob shook her. Then Gideon's arm wrapped around her and drew her up against his strong, warm body. He didn't say anything, simply held her close and let her regain herself for a moment.

"I'm so confused," she murmured against his chest. "I'm terrified."

"Don't be." He caressed her back, his touch a welcome comfort, easing her anxiety. His body felt so powerful around her, solid and sheltering, engulfing her in his steady strength. "The last thing I want is for you to be confused," he whispered against her temple. "I don't want you to be afraid of anything. Least of all me."

"Afraid of you? No." She gave a slow shake of her head, then pressed her brow to the center of his chest, feeling the hard drum of his heartbeat against her. "You're the only thing that feels real to me, Gideon. Of everything that's happened the past few days, the only thing I know for sure right now is the way you make me feel."

His answering growl was low, vibrating from somewhere deep inside him. She felt his muscles twitch as he continued to hold her, his strength coiled and deadly, yet wrapped around her with utmost tenderness.

Savannah lifted her head to meet his gaze. His eyes had gone darker in the dim lamplight, yet in the depths of all that stormy blue, a mesmerizing fire seemed to crackle. The heat in him was a palpable thing, radiating into her everywhere they touched.

"You felt right to me last night, Gideon, when you kissed me. I was scared then too, but you felt so right." She reached up to catch his rigid jaw in the cradle of her hand. "How is it you came into my life just when I needed you most?"

He said her name, a thick whisper that leaked from between his clenched teeth. A torment seemed to sweep over him, every sinew growing taut and still as they stood together in the meager sanctuary of the bedroom.

"If anything scares me when it comes to you," she confided softly, "it's how much I need to feel your arms around me like this. You make me feel safe, Gideon. In a way I never knew before. You make me feel as though nothing bad can touch me so long as I'm with you."

"It can't. I won't allow that. Not so long as I am breathing." His voice was thunder, deep and rumbling. "You'll always be safe, Savannah. I'll stake my life on that."

She smiled, moved by the ferocity of his vow. "Spoken like one of Arthur's n.o.ble knights. I've never had my own hero."

He blew out a low, strangled curse. "No, not n.o.ble. And most certainly not anyone's hero. Just someone who cares about you. A man who wants to know you're never in harm's way. A man who wants you to find the happiness you deserve. A man who wants...ah, f.u.c.k." His gaze burned as he looked at her. "I'm a man who wants too d.a.m.n much where you're concerned.."

Savannah watched the tension play across his lean, angular cheeks and the broad line of his mouth. It deepened when his hot gaze locked on to her unflinching stare. "What do you want, Gideon?"

His searing eyes drank her in, and when he spoke, his answer came in the form of a guttural, almost animal snarl. "I want this," he said, and brought her deeper into his embrace with only the faintest twitch of the muscles that held her caged against him. Power coursed through him with barely an effort, his pulse points drumming against her skin everywhere their bodies connected.

"And this." He softly skated his fingertips along the side of her face, then brushed the pad of his thumb across her lower lip. Lowering his head to hers, he descended on her until their mouths were less than a breath apart. "And I want this."

He kissed her.

Not the slow meeting of their lips from the other night, but a hungered kiss that claimed her mouth without apology, his tongue pushing past her teeth in fevered demand. He growled something indiscernible as he crushed her against him, his breath coming fast and hard, hot against her face.

His mouth consumed her. Drank her in with a ferocity that both startled and enflamed her.

Gideon's hold on her tightened. His arousal was unmistakable, a hard, heavy presence that called to the most primal part of her. Savannah's body answered, pooling with warm need at her core. She moaned as Gideon's kiss deepened, pa.s.sion-filled, questing. So naked with desire, it sucked the breath from her lungs.

He dragged her body flush against him now, catching her nape in his big hand. His fingers burned where they wrapped around the side of her neck, branding his touch on her skin.

And his kiss owned her too.

Her pulse throbbed everywhere he touched her, building to a roar that filled her ears as his lips and tongue consumed her. She gave it back to him, meeting his tongue with hers and drawing him deep. Pleasure rumbled through him, low like thunder, vibrating against her b.r.e.a.s.t.s and belly.

Savannah arced into him as his free hand found the hem of her sweater and slipped inside. His hard, hot fingers ran up her ribs and over the thin lace of her bra. She groaned with pleasure, lost to his touch as he kneaded her b.r.e.a.s.t.s and continued to wreak havoc on her senses with his kiss.

"I have to have you, Savannah," he rasped against her lips, breathless, his voice oddly thick. "Ah, Christ...I've never wanted anything more than I want this with you now. I want you. All of you."

He didn't wait for permission. Stripping off her sweater and bra and tossing them aside, he bent to lavish her bare b.r.e.a.s.t.s with the delicious heat of his mouth. Her nipples were taut and achy under his attention, the wet need in her core turning to fiery lava with every lap and nip and suckle of his mouth.

Desperate to have her hands on him, she reached down to the zippered fly of his black fatigues and felt the steely bulge of his c.o.c.k swell even fuller under her palm and fingers. His s.e.x was raw power beneath her hand, pulsing with carnal demand.

She was on fire for him too. Hungry with the same need, the same urgency to feel his hard body up against her, inside her. She gripped him through the fabric, and he tore away from her b.r.e.a.s.t.s on a ragged growl. Head down, he kissed a descending trail of fire across her ribs and abdomen, sinking to his haunches before her. His questing mouth went lower then, teasing her sensitive skin above the low-slung waistline of her hip-hugging jeans.

"Gideon, yes," she panted, trembling with sensation, her own words little more than a gasp of sound. "Oh, G.o.d, yes. I need this too. I need you now."

She sucked in a shallow gasp as he unfastened the b.u.t.tons and tugged both jeans and panties down with one swift, unswerving motion. Cool air hit the naked tops of her thighs and the exposed thatch of curls between them. Then a moment later, it was all heat, as Gideon pressed his face to her mound and kissed that most private place.

Savannah dropped her hands to his shoulders, holding on for dear life as his mouth closed down on her s.e.x. His tongue cleaved into the seam of her, wet and hot and wicked. He suckled her, taking her tight little pearl between his teeth, toying with it, swirling the tip of his tongue over her flesh and making her mewl with mounting pleasure.

"You taste so sweet, Savannah," he told her between those erotic, sensual kisses. "I wanna eat you up. Lick every sweet inch of you. Hear you scream my name."

Oh, G.o.d, it wouldn't take much more, she thought, closing her eyes and dropping her head back on her shoulders as he gripped her bare a.s.s and buried his face between her parted legs. He teased her c.l.i.t with his mouth, tantalizing strokes as he gently spread the swollen, wet petals of her core with fingertips made slick from her body's juices.

"So tight," he murmured, penetrating her slowly with just one finger. Her body clung to him instantly, greedily, her thighs quivering as he lapped at her and worked his finger inside the core of her s.e.x. "G.o.d, Savannah...I knew you were extraordinary, but d.a.m.n. I never would've been ready for this. You're so sweet the way you respond to me. So f.u.c.king beautiful."

She moaned at his sensual praise, the only reply she could manage as her blood rushed feverishly through her veins, setting every nerve ending on fire.

And Gideon gave her no quarter whatsoever. His fingers played her with masterful skill. His mouth was relentless, his tongue so very, very good.

Her legs were going boneless beneath her. She clutched his head, buried her fingers in the short blond silk of his hair as her pleasure built and crested, about to crash into her. "Gideon," she gasped. "I can't take anymore. Please...you have to stop..."

"Never," he growled. "Let go, baby. Let me take you there."

Her knees were jelly, the muscles of her thighs quaking as the rush of o.r.g.a.s.m roared up on her.