Nicholas tucked a stray strand of Alana’s hair behind her ear and smiled. She grabbed his hand and kissed the tips of his fingers one by one. Chills ran down his spine. It’d been so long since he felt anything real. She felt him shutter and smiled.
“Don’t even think about it,” Alana warned. “I’m fighting hard enough to stay awake as it is.”
“You misunderstand,” Nicholas said. “It’s your soul that’s done this to me. Not your body.” He ran his free hand down her side and smiled wider. “Not that it was at all unpleasant. In fact I found it very enjoyable.”
“Good to know,” she giggled. “I think I can safely say the same.” The truth was she’d never felt this exhilarated with anybody. “You made me forget.”
“When you’re happy and safe forgetting isn’t hard. It’s just been a long time since you’ve been either.”
He crawled under the sheet and let her curl up beside him. The scent of her washed over him like a warm blanket. “Now that you have it I don’t want you to lose it.”
“I don’t either,” she admitted. She turned her face to look up at him. “But until Ben’s gone I’ll never really be safe. He may not know where this place is, but he knows where Matt is.”
“Yes, and he won’t hesitate to use that to draw you out again.” He pulled her closer, soaking up the warmth of her body.
“I can’t stay here forever, Nicholas. He will kill my brother and anybody else he thinks is in his way.”
“There’s no doubt in mind that he will.” Nicholas swallowed hard. She was already close to sleep. He had a solution, but it was one that would lead to a drastic lifestyle change for her. “Alana?”
“What?” she whispered running her fingertips across his chest.
“What if I could save you from him?”
“I thought that was plan.” She opened her eyes, curious.
“It always has been,” he conceded. “But what if I could offer a solution that would keep him from you forever?”
“Death pretty much guarantees that, doesn’t it?”
“Yes, from him. But what if another wants you. Vampire or not.”
“Somehow I doubt there are any more men out there as dangerous as Ben is right now. Besides, once this is over. Once he’s dead, we’ll still have one another. I’m certainly not going anywhere. Not now.”
A warm feeling spread through him. Those were the words he’d longed to hear. “And later? When you age and don’t?”
Alana raised up on her elbow and looked at him. She finally realized. “You want to turn me?”
“I have since the night we met.” Now was the time for honesty. He wanted her, but he knew she’d likely put up a fight.
“Nicholas, I don’t want to be a vampire. I don’t want to live off blood.” She wasn’t mad at him.
Honestly she wasn’t even that shocked. It would be normal for a vampire to want to turn the object of his desire, wouldn’t it? Don’t women want to turn men into something else once they snag them? In a way, wasn’t this the same? “I want to be with you. I know that now. Can’t we just enjoy that for now?”
“We can,” he said solemnly. “But I want to protect you. Turning you would make you less vulnerable.”
“It might, but then again even you aren’t immortal,” she reminded him. “For now be my knight in shining armor. Slay my dragon and let’s get on with our lives.”
Nicholas gently tucked her head back onto his chest. As he stroked her long, beautiful hair he thought hard about what she’d said. She had good points; he had to give her that. But could a relationship between them work as it stood right then? As long as she was human he’d never not worry about her safety. That was a given. Then again he had a secret…