Sun poured through the window, and she hustled to pull Angus's body to a darker side of the room. She placed the screen around him.
She began calling out to Austin telepathically. No answer. She washed up. The human slave dogs brought her breakfast. She tried communicating with them, but they wouldn't respond.
By noon, she was frantic.
Oh, thank God! Where have you been?
Asleep, sorry. We were up till dawn, searching for you. I figured you were safe during the day, so we took a nap.
You need to find us by this evening. Emma glanced at the stake on the floor where she'd left it. She didn't want to think about it.
We set up headquarters in Kiev, Austin explained. There were ten of us last night. We spread out in a circle and checked a two-hundred-mile radius. During the day, it's just me and Darcy, but I have a plan to help us narrow the search parameter.
Sounds good. Emma paced about the cell. What can I do?
Just keep in touch. We're going to start traveling one direction. Eventually I'll be able to tell if we're getting closer or farther away. If I'm getting cold, I'll turn another direction and see if that works.
The rest of the afternoon passed while they played psychic Marco Polo. Austin discovered south was the wrong direction, then headed west. That direction worked.
You must be close to the Carpathian Mountains, Austin observed. There are four passes through the mountains. I'll start with the one to the south.
By suppertime, Austin had determined they were on the wrong pass. He had to backtrack to get to the next one.
Hurry! Emma nervously watched the window as Austin tried the second mountain pass. The sun was lowering in the sky.
I think this is it! Austin sounded cheerful. As soon as the Vamps wake up, I'll call them here, and we can spread out and find you.
Emma glanced at the screen where Angus's body was hidden. That will be too late. I need you now.
There was a pause. Emma, we'll try our best, but I can't make any promises.
I understand. As the room dimmed, Emma realized the lightbulb was no longer working. The room would be dark when Angus awoke. She walked behind the screen and crouched beside him. He looked so peaceful and harmless.
She touched his cheek. "I know you don't want to live with the guilt of hurting me." She took in a deep, shaky breath. "But I can't do it. I can't kill you." Tears welled in her eyes. "Even if it means my own death."
With her decision made, Emma prepared herself. She stood in the tub, soaped up, then poured cold water on her head from the bucket. She washed her undies and hung them over the screen to dry. Then she pulled the thin mattress off the cot and dragged it behind the screen. She positioned it beside Angus.
Dressed only in her shirt, she sat on the mattress and waited for the last of the sunlight to fade. She ran her fingers through her wet hair to ease out the tangles. The room grew darker. A quiet stillness filled the air. She imagined the sun on the western horizon sinking lower and lower, and her spirit sank with it. Was she making a terrible mistake? What if Angus lost complete control and attacked her like the monster who had attacked her mother?
A wave of panic seized her. She ran to fetch the stake, then returned to the mattress. She placed it on the floor within her reach. Just in case she ended up struggling with a mindless creature intent on killing her.
Surely not. Surely Angus would be as gentle as possible.
She jumped when his body jolted. His chest expanded with a deep breath. She placed her palm over his heart and felt the strong pounding through the thin cotton T-shirt. How amazing that his heart could suddenly leap to life with the setting of the sun.
He grabbed her wrist, locking his fist around it. She flinched. He'd moved so fast. She'd barely detected the blur of motion before he'd seized her. His eyes opened. The green irises glowed, focusing on her with the look of a predatory animal.
"Angus?" Did he even know it was her?
He pushed her down. A growl rumbled deep in his throat as he leaned over her.
He blinked. The ferocious look on his face melted into an expression of sheer horror. "Emma." He released her and sat up. His body shook with a great tremor. He cried out as his fangs erupted.
Oh God, they looked so sharp. Emma squeezed her eyes shut.
He cried out again, a sound so full of pain that Emma knew he was as terrified as she was. She opened her eyes and reached out to him.
"Nay!" He rolled onto his side, facing away from her, and sank his teeth into his arm. His body trembled.
She wrapped her arms around him and hugged him from the back. Slowly his body ceased shuddering.
"I - I was afraid I would kill you," he whispered.
She nestled her cheek in the dip between his shoulder blades. "I hate to see you mutilate yourself."
"Better me than you." He turned to face her. His fangs had retracted. "I only bought a little time. I'm so verra hungry."
The need in his eyes was so strong, she couldn't deny him. "It's all right." She touched his cheek. "I love you, Angus MacKay."
A look of wonder crossed his face, then he frowned. "How can ye? I nearly attacked ye like a monster."
"But you didn't. Even in the worst throes of pain and hunger, you protected me. You're the most beautiful man I've ever known."
"Emma." He propped himself on an elbow. He skimmed a hand down her face and gazed into her eyes. "I love ye, too. So verra much." His arm shook, and he collapsed onto his back. "Bugger. I'm so weak."
Emma smiled. He might feel weak, but his declaration of love filled her with a sense of power and contentment. She sat up and gave him a seductive look. "I believe I have just what you need." She brushed her hair back to expose her neck.
His gaze drifted to her throat. "Ye smell verra good."
"I am good." She unbuttoned her shirt. "I'm everything you need." She peeled her shirt back to reveal her breasts.
His gaze shifted lower. "Oh, aye," he whispered.
She pulled off her shirt and dropped it. It fell on top of the stake. She glanced back at him. He was watching her, his eyes glowing red.
He moved suddenly, pushing her down on the mattress and leaning over her. She smiled at his amazing resurgence of energy. He might be weak, but he was definitely motivated.
He nuzzled her neck and whispered in her ear, "I want ye, Emma. I want to taste you. I want to be inside you."
"Yes." She smoothed her hands down his back and grabbed the bottom edge of his T-shirt. She tugged it up. "I want to feel your skin against mine."
He pulled his shirt over his head. "Just a minute." He sat beside her to remove his shoes and socks. Then finally, off came the kilt.
The room was dark, but his skin was pale enough to give Emma a good glimpse. Her heart stuttered. Beautiful man. Muscular, lean, and graceful.
He lay beside her and gathered her in his arms. She shivered at the feel of her bare breasts grazing his skin.
He licked her neck. I love you, Emma. He licked again. The artery beneath her skin began to throb.
"Angus." She kneaded her fingers against his bare back. His skin was smooth. She loved the way his muscles bunched. He tickled her neck with his tongue, and tingles radiated down her arms and torso.
I'm so hungry. His mind sounded desperate. With the mental connection, she could sense his struggle to retain control.
Take what you need. She turned her head to better expose her neck. I trust you.
His body shook. His cry was muffled against her shoulder. She flinched when she felt the scrape of a fang.
His tongue swirled around the sensitized area of her neck. The tingles shimmered down her body in an erotic wave. Her nipples hardened. Her womanly core ached with emptiness and begged to be filled.
Love me, Angus. She tangled her fingers into his long hair.
He cupped her breast and teased the nipple with his thumb. She felt a slight prick on her neck at the same time that he gave her nipple a little tug.
"Ah!" She jolted. Good heavens. His fangs were inside her. It felt strangely erotic, as if he were probing her between the legs. She felt moisture pooling below, and hot blood gathering at her neck. Each time he sucked on her, blood coursed through her like a long, delicious throb. She needed him inside her.
I need you. She dug her fingers into his back.
He smoothed a hand down to her curls, then cupped her. Ye're so wet. He inserted a finger inside her. So hot.
Her inner muscles squeezed his finger. I need... I need...
Stay with me. He inserted two fingers inside her and located her clitoris with his thumb. Each time he sucked on her neck, he pressed up with his fingers and down with his thumb. He kept feeding and stroking. She writhed with pleasure.
She cried out when the climax hit. It shot through her, then eased into a series of delicious pulses.
She felt both sated and drained. She wasn't sure how much blood he had taken. She didn't really care. She felt so damned good, just floating along in a sea of sweet aftershocks. She noticed somewhat hazily that he'd withdrawn from her neck. He was still leaning over her, but now his arms were strong and steady. His face was flushed.
He retracted his fangs, and a drop of blood fell from one and landed on her chest. He bent down to lick it, then ran his tongue over her nipples. Her body shuddered.
She sighed with contentment at the feel of his erection pressed against her hip. She glanced down to see it. It was engorged, pink with blood she'd given him. He eased between her legs. She jolted when he thrust deep into her. Wow. No hesitation. It was a powerful declaration of possession. And God help her, she loved it.
He filled her. Emma. He lowered his head to her breasts and drew a nipple into his mouth.
She was too weak to do anything impressive in return. She simply wrapped her arms and legs around him. Good heavens, her mind might be fuzzy and light-headed, but her body was still wonderfully sensitive. He gently rocked her till every nerve ending shuddered with pleasure.
Then, all of a sudden, it wasn't enough. For either of them. Her body screamed for more, and she dug her nails into his back. He responded, his eyes blazing red. His thrusts became strong and forceful.
You're mine, Emma, mine. He rose onto his knees and seized her by the hips. He ground against her. She cried out. He drove in hard, then tilted his head back and groaned. His climax merged with hers mentally, and they both throbbed in unison before collapsing onto the mattress.
He smoothed her hair back from her brow. "I'm afraid I fed too much. I made ye weak."
"You made me happy." She drifted off to sleep.
Angus paced around their cell. He had to find a way out. Last night he'd been useless, overcome with hunger. But tonight he was strong, vibrant, and ready to take on the enemy.
He stopped next to Emma. She was still asleep and still pale. He adjusted her blanket and listened to her heartbeat. Steady, but weak. The devil take it. He'd taken too much blood. How could she fight in this condition?
And it would only get worse. He resumed his pacing. Tomorrow night, his hunger would return, and if he fed off Emma, she would become even weaker. Eventually he would kill her. No doubt that was exactly what Katya hoped would happen. She wanted the slayer dead, and she wanted to force him to be the executioner of the woman he loved. If he and Emma didn't escape soon, Katya's evil plan would come to pass.
He eyed the window. It was crisscrossed with silver chains, but if he managed to rip them off, could he teleport through such a small opening? Past experience warned him that the silver-covered walls would block him. The door would be a safer bet. If anyone opened it, he could teleport out, taking Emma with him. No doubt that was why no one ever came at night.
The last time he'd seen Katya and her Russian vampires had been the night he'd been paralyzed with nightshade. They knew better than to open the door if he was mobile. The mortal guards came inside during the day while he was incapacitated. And they probably reported to their masters that Emma was still alive.
The door was still his best bet. If he could cause enough ruckus, maybe someone would come to check on them. Once he teleported out, he wouldn't be able to go far. The sun had only set about an hour earlier, so the locations embedded in his psychic memory - Western Europe and North America - would still be in daylight and off limits. The best course of action was to teleport with Emma a short distance, then join his friends who were looking for them.
He grabbed Emma's underwear from the top of the screen, then knelt beside her. "Sweetheart, I need ye to get dressed. I have a plan."
She moaned and turned her head away. The sight of his fang marks on her neck made him wince.
"Come, I'll help you." He pulled the blanket off her legs and slipped her underwear over her feet.
"I know, but we need to be ready."
"Ready for what?" She sat up, then touched her forehead and closed her eyes.
"Are ye all right?"
"Black dots." She rose onto her knees so he could slip the underwear over her hips. She grabbed his shoulders to steady herself.
He cursed himself silently. "I fed too much."
"I'll be all right." She put her bra on.
He found her pants and handed them to her. "My plan is to lure someone into opening the door, then teleport us out."
She stuffed her legs into the pants. "Sounds good to me. And as soon as you get out of this room, you can call your Vamp buddies." She shrugged on her shirt and buttoned it. "They should be close by now. The last time I talked to Austin, he was zeroing in on us."