The Damned | Chapter 5 of 7 - Part: 1 of 34

Author: L.A. Banks | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 2176 Views | Add a Review

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Yonnie and Tara touched down in the alley on

Bourbon Street
and looked around.

"I wouldn't have brought you to Gabrielle's unless it was an emergency," Yonnie said, his gaze going toward the pedestrians beyond the shadows. "So be cool when we get in there."

"No problem," Tara said, her voice as distant as her gaze. "I don't have any issues with Gabrielle or her profession. She is what she is, just like we are what we are."

Yonnie brought his attention back to Tara, conflict wafting through him as he studied her calm demeanor. "No, I don't suppose you do," he said in a tight voice after a moment, and then began walking. "I was foolish to think you might."

Tara didn't respond. What was there to say? It was better that Yonnie. relive his desires at a coven brothel in New Orleans than to insist on sex from her after he fed each night.

"For the record," he snarled as they exited the alley and blended in with the party people in the street, "I never insisted on anything."

"All right," she said, no judgment in her tone, simply fatigue. "Let's not argue about what is."

He grabbed her arm. She looked down at his hold with curious disdain.

"You know for a fact that since the Chairman's throne has been vacated, as a master, I can't deliver a bite that isn't fatal. No turns, no passion nicks, nothing, if it's on a human. No elevations on one of our own. So my visits to Gabrielle's place haven't been all you think." He dropped her arm when he realized that frustration was making him squeeze it harder than he'd intended. "You're the only one who can take my bites."

She nodded and touched his face. "I know." Her hand fell away, and she let out a long breath. "That's why, from time to time—"

"From a sense of pity," he said in a low rumble, "or to protect an innocent human?" He strode ahead of her muttering. "Either reason is unacceptable. Especially tonight."

Tara watched him alight the front stairs of the old French-quarter dwelling with the grace of the wind. She stared at his strong back and straight posture, as he held his head high. His dark Afro-style hair shone under the night stars and street lamps, glistening like a king's crown. Under any other circumstances, this man would have been a good choice, given the options her world presented. Yonnie was honorable, handsome, had defended their territory well, his only flaw was, he wasn't Jack Rider.

She took the stone stairs behind him, and leaned on the ornately curved brass rail that replaced what should have been wrought iron, waiting for one of Gabrielle's girls to open the door. Witches didn't do iron, Tara reminded herself, as she slipped off the silver shaman necklace that could cause any were-demon working girls offense.

"Thank you," Yonnie muttered and then depressed the bell as Tara put the jewelry into her coat pocket. "At least for appearance's sake, you could fake being with me as a real lover, not simply my semi-estranged wife."

Tara threaded her arm through Yonnie's, and leaned her head on his shoulder. "I need to go talk to him, so I can finally put things to rest the way I should." She stared up at Yonnie as shadows moved behind the wide, lace-covered, leaded-beveled glass panels in the door. "Let me go see Rider—just to talk. This isn't doing any of us any good."

"I forbid it," Yonnie said in a quiet tone as the door tumblers turned.

"I cannot be with him for the same reasons you can't be with a human. The last time… I almost killed him. You know that."

Yonnie's eyes shone with quiet, repressed desperation. "Then maybe I should have let you go see him a long time ago. But then you'd still mourn him."

"I'll always mourn him," Tara said with a sigh. "But at least—"

"I'll consider it. Now drop it," Yonnie said as a petite Asian hostess appeared at the door.

The young woman smiled, her upper and lower canines prominent and glistening. She wore a cocky air of confidence and a skimpy silk kimono that was a mere profusion of red and gold swirls amid patches of mink fur. "Is Madame expecting you, sir?"

Yonnie smiled and pulled Tara closer to his side. "Always."

The young woman nodded, offered him a slight bow, and motioned for him and Tara to follow her. The door creaked shut behind them with no aid of hands evident. On the way to the parlor, they passed an elaborate foyer covered in period tapestry, marble flooring, with a brightly burning crystal chandelier.

Tara's gaze took in the sumptuous space. Red velvet was everywhere, cushioning dark cherry mahogany love seats, chaise longues, and Queen Anne chairs all expertly arranged in gallery seating by a fire.

She sat on the edge of the sofa next to Yonnie, her back a little too rigid for the environment, which seemed to make the young female werewolf smile wider.

"Sir, let me be sure to go over our policies of the house, since your lady friend is obviously new to our establishment here," the hostess said in a demure, silky voice that flowed over the faux couple. "Accept my apologies in advance for what I'm about to say. However, we've recently had some unfortunate results from passion nicks delivered by much lower-level vampires than you and your lady… which I'm sure you can understand. But as a precaution—"


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Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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