Julian held Quinn against him as he settled into Devon’s car and closed the passenger side door. Quinn cuddled closer to him when he shifted her in his arms. After the events of this night, she didn’t think she’d ever let him go again.
“Where’s Earl?” Julian inquired of Devon.
Quinn’s fingers dug into the flesh of his bare chest. She shuddered when Julian spoke the name of the man who had unknowingly turned her into a vampire—the man who had just captured her, used his mind control to bend her to his will and caused the deaths of her family and friends. Six years ago, Earl had tortured and killed her family because he was a vampire who thrived on death. He’d captured and tortured her this time because he’d figured out she was the vampire of some ridiculous prophecy spreading through the vampire community.
The chilling words of the prophecy ran through her mind again. A vampire, not born of vampire blood, will burn like the sun the life from anyone she touches. If used correctly, she will become our greatest ally, our savior.
She couldn’t deny the prophecy was about her, it fit her to a damn T after all, but after the events of this night, all she wanted was to get as far from vampires as possible. She would give anything to be able to lose herself in Julian’s arms right now. After what some vampires had put her through, the last thing she felt like being was the savior of the vampire race. At this point, she was ready to drain the life from any vampire she didn’t know and call it a day.
Seeming to sense her distress, Julian cradled her closer. His hands rubbed over her back, smoothing her hair as his fingers caressed her. “Easy, Dewdrop,” he murmured, his lips brushing against her ear while he spoke.
She relaxed as she nestled closer to him.
“Earl?” Julian asked again of Devon.
Devon’s emerald eyes assessed Julian as he glanced at him out of the corner of his eye. A strand of black hair fell over his forehead. “He’s in the RV with the others. So are the other two vampires you asked me to take out of that hotel with us. I thought it would be better if you were kept away from Earl for now,” Devon replied.
“Are the others going to be safe around those three?” Quinn asked.
“I still have control of all of their minds,” Devon assured her. “They won’t be able to hurt anyone as long as I do.”
Quinn couldn’t stop herself from shuddering again at the reminder of Devon’s ability to control the mind of another. The same ability had allowed Earl to get an invitation into her house in order to kill her family. More recently, Earl had used his ability to keep her a prisoner in her own body. The ability was terrifying in the hands of someone looking to torture another with it.
Lifting her head from Julian’s shoulder, Quinn turned to look at Cassie. They’d never formally met, but Quinn had heard enough about Cassie and Devon to know who they were. Cassie sat forward, a smile curving her full mouth. Cassie was Devon’s mate, but Quinn knew that at one time Julian had believed himself in love with her. Looking at her, Quinn could see why. Not only was she beautiful on the outside, but she also radiated a warmth many didn’t possess.
Quinn had no doubt that Julian loved her in a way he’d loved no other. She’d experienced that outpouring of love from him since the first time they’d sealed their bond as mates, but she still couldn’t help feeling a little overwhelmed by the stunning, extremely powerful vampire staring at her from the backseat. Like herself, Cassie had once been a Hunter too, and being turned into a vampire had amplified her power.
“I’m Cassie,” she said with a smile and brushed back the golden blonde hair spilling over her shoulders. Her violet-blue eyes twinkled as she looked between Quinn and Julian. “I’d shake your hand, but I’ve got enough crazy stuff kicking around in me without adding your ability to it.”
“Understandable. Believe me, I know what it’s like to have things kicking around inside of you that you can’t control. I’m Quinn. I’ve heard a lot about you.” Her gaze slid to Devon. She knew Devon and Julian had been best friends before Devon had stopped killing humans for pleasure and they’d had a falling out. They’d come back together a couple of years ago. “About both of you.”
“It’s all lies,” Devon said as he shifted the car into first and popped the clutch.
“Probably not all of it,” Cassie said with a laugh.
“None of it was,” Julian insisted.
Cassie rested her hand briefly on his shoulder and squeezed it.
“Thank you for coming, for helping me,” Quinn said to them.