A Vampire Breaking

Kansas City Vampires Book 4

G.R. George

Chapter 1

Oh, god, yeah, that feels good.” Nathan Greer rolled up onto his side as his lover Guillermo Perez feathered kisses across his shoulders, working down his back. “Really good, but we need to talk.”

Eight months had passed since the Brotherhood of Truth had attacked the mansion nearly killing Nathan and Nathan’s mother, Nan. They’d been trying to kill his unborn child at the time, but his daughter, Rebekah, had her own ideas for survival and had wiped out the entire Brotherhood, swiftly and without prejudice.

“I agree. We need to talk,” Gui responded with nips along the sensitive skin of his buttocks. “But not at this particular moment.”

Nathan arched, reaching a hand back to grab a handful of his lover’s coarse black hair. “I’m being serious.”

Since that terrible night, when Nathan saw what kind of power his daughter held, he constantly worried about her. It helped that his mother and her new husband had moved in. Alfred, a retired doctor, was very good for Nan, and Nathan had never seen his mother happier.

He heard Guillermo sigh. “I’m being serious as well. Can you not tell?”

“Don’t be like that, Guillermo. We have responsibilities now, because of Bekah…”

Nan and Alfred took care of Rebekah during the daytime hours. As a mortal vampire, she slept at night and required actual food to survive. Nadine and Tyr helped in the evenings, and even if Nadine and Nathan’s relationship was tenuous, the vixen vampire seemed to be genuinely fond of the child.

“It is always something, amante. If it isn’t Nadine leaving her body jewelry or latex on the floor in the bathroom…”

“What if Bekah had gone in there and choked on it or something?”

“Did I mention Nadine left them on the floor in her own bathroom? No matter. If it’s not Nadine doing something to worry you, it’s your mother or Tyr or one of the guards, or someone who uses language you’re unhappy with…”

“I can’t help it! Damn. I worry about her every second of my waking time.” In emphasis, Nathan reached for the baby monitor on the nightstand and adjusted the volume. The soft sigh of breathing came over the speaker.

For a while, Nathan had tried working part-time at the hospital, but it just got to be too much being away from Bekah. He hadn’t worked as a doctor for five months and he missed the job.

“I understand, Nathaniel, but Rebekah is a special child. She is only eight months old, yet she is already speaking with a better vocabulary than you and I combined.”

Chewing his fingernail, Nathan leaned back against Guillermo’s chest. “Not to mention how fast she’s growing.”

“Yes.” Gui pressed his lips to Nathan’s ear. “Será bien. It will all be well.”

“You can’t know that.” It was hard to remember what he wanted to talk about because Guillermo’s hands had slipped down his chest and abdomen to his hardening cock. “Uhm, I can’t think when you do that.”

Bien.” He stroked Nathan’s cock firmly. “I am going to make you forget your worries, amante. If only for a few moments.”

Rolling over, Nathan captured Gui’s lips in a deep, sensuous kiss, his tongue darting forward into his lover’s mouth, tasting the metallic tinge of blood mixed with saliva. Guillermo stroked his cock against Nathan’s, making the younger vampire groan. “I’m going to fuck you so good.”

“The first sensible thing you’ve said tonight.” He tweaked Nathan’s nipple then lightly slapped his buttock and grinned. “But I think I’ll be doing the fucking.”

“Shut up and kiss me.”

Guillermo obliged, attacking Nathan with a voracious kiss. His lips melded with Nathan’s, cool and yielding, parting, taking Nathan’s tongue, sucking it like he’d sucked his cock so many times. Gripping Gui’s ass, Nathan pulled him closer, their bodies pressed hard together. Breaking the kiss, Guillermo slipped down, tugging Nathan’s nipples into hard nubs, licking every indentation of his abdomen until his mouth hovered mere inches from his lover’s fully erect shaft.

Mi hombre hermoso.” His dark liquid eyes contemplated Nathan’s thick cock. “I am going to make you feel so good.”

“You always do.” His fingers brushed Gui’s short, coarse black hair. “You always…” The words fell away with a moan as Guillermo’s mouth slipped over Nathan’s bulbous head, his tongue and teeth teasing his shaft, swallowing, lips stroking Nathan’s cock.

Moving to his knees, Nathan grasped Gui’s hair, pushing and pulling as Guillermo sucked and licked and nibbled. He watched Gui’s mouth slide down his shaft, then back up and the watching turned him on nearly as much as the sensation. “Fuck. Oh God, you do that so well.”

Nathan’s hips bucked forward involuntarily, driving his cock to the back of Guillermo’s throat, which tightened and contracted around the swollen head. He pulled away, only to have Gui grab his ass and pull him back to take him deep into his throat once more. His hands moved again. This time, Nathan felt the point of a finger pressing against his anus as the other hand cupped his sac, pulling and tugging as Gui fucked him with his mouth.

The finger pushed in, sinking past the first ring of muscle, searching and finding the pleasure core a mere inch or so inside Nathan’s canal. The finger moved in and out, quickly, as Nathan’s thrusts grew insistent, plundering Gui’s mouth, fucking it hard, fast, the pleasure building, growing like some monster, caged, clawing and crashing its way out.

“Fuck, oh fuck.” He yanked Gui’s head toward his hips, his balls smashed against his lover’s chin as he thrust into him hard. His body froze for an instant before jerking forward in spasmodic rapture, shooting his come down Gui’s throat while sparks leapt from his body. Gui took every bit of the orgasm, drinking Nathan deep, holding him tight until every drop was expended.

When it was over, Nathan fell back on to the bed. “Holy shit, is it just me, or does it get better every time?”

Guillermo’s flopped onto his back, hand over his now beating heart. “Cada vez, amor. Every time.”

* * * *

Nadine sat up in bed. “Oh my, God! They’re going at it again.”

“Jealous much?” Tyr grumbled. “You spend so much time worrying about what they’re doing. I swear you’d rather be in there with Nathan and Guillermo than in here with me.”

She eyed her hulking man, lying naked in bed. No, she did not want to be in there with Gui and the asshole. She wanted to be right here, although she regretted choosing a room so close to the master suite. She stroked a fingernail down Tyr’s hard, firm chest, avoiding the scar over his heart that always made him twitch. He’d been acting strange over the past several months. “Do you want to…” Her words trailed off as Tyr pulled away from her and got out of bed. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.”

“You always say nothing.”

“Because that’s what I mean.”

Nadine was not a woman who had to beg for sex, but lately… “Is it me?”

“Is what you?” Tyr dressed in a hurry, throwing on a pair of black slacks and a blue cotton button down which stretched tight against his large chest.

She dropped the sheet down and gestured to her naked body. “This?” Waving her hands around, she added. “All of this.”

“I don’t have time for this.”

Anger churned in Nadine’s gut and she felt her violet eyes shift. Baring her fangs, she jumped from the bed. “What? Am I not man enough for you?”

He turned on her—a predator ready to pounce.

“Oh, I hit a nerve. Well, goddamn, at least I got a reaction from you. That’s it, isn’t it? You’ve been sharing my bed for nearly half a year, but you’re still pining for your precious Nathan. Well, he doesn’t want you. Get it!” Her voice raised an octave, all the pain and frustration bubbling to the surface. “Hasn’t he made it perfectly clear? He. Doesn’t. Want. You.”

Tyr clenched his fists, the muscles in his seven-foot body jumping with tension. “Leave it, woman.”

“Fuck!” Nadine screamed, pounding her fists into the mattress. “I want you. Don’t you get that? I. Want. You.” She’d never felt so desperate, so overwhelmed. “I love you, Tyr. You big jerk.”

The tightness loosened around his eyes. He went to Nadine and caressed her long red hair. “I love you, too. I do. Really.”

“Then what? Why don’t you want to have sex anymore?”

“I… I need Nathan.”

“Oh goddess, take my soul.” Dipping her head low, Nadine scrunched a pillow between her fingers. “Nathan. Nathan. Nathan.”

“You don’t understand.”

She whipped her head around piercing him with her eyes. “Get out.” She pointed to the door. “Just get the fuck out.”

* * * *

Tyr picked Bekah up from the day bed. She was sleeping soundly as he cuddled her. It amazed him how quickly she’d grown, yet how tiny she still was as she snuggled in the crook of his arms. Nadine had every right to be unhappy with him, but what he couldn’t tell her, wouldn’t tell her, was that he needed Nathan, and not just his blood.

It had nothing to do with feelings or wants, and everything to do with necessity. Part of the blood bond was giving yourself to your master body and soul. Since he’d stopped sharing Nathan and Guillermo’s bed at Nadine’s request—and he could tell Gui wasn’t happy sharing Nathan either—his libido had dropped to next to nothing.

It was like he was dead below the waist. He hadn’t realized what the lack of intimacy with his feedings would do to him. The whole time he’d been with Min, his former master, the blood feedings were always mixed with some kind of sexuality, even if it had been cruel and perverse. How could he have known when he agreed to blood only, the resulting effect would be impotence?

Smoothing Bekah’s cinnamon colored hair, he cooed. “Sleep, sleep, little one. The world is at your feet.”

Her eyelids flickered open and she smiled. “Tyrsgard Madds.” She touched his cheek. “So sad.”

“I’m fine,” he said and smiled. She had a way of making him feel calm and peaceful.

“I’ll be the judge of that.” Bekah lay still in his arms, content to be held like a baby. “You should just tell them.”

Tyr nearly stumbled. “What do you mean, child?” She could be spookily perceptive, but he hoped she wasn’t talking about what he thought she was talking about.

“Yes. That’s exactly what I’m talking about.”

“When did you start reading minds?”

“Since birth.” She smiled again, showing her fangs. The smile faded as Bekah winced.

“What’s wrong, child?”

“Nothing.”

“And you accuse me of not being able to lie well.”

Her eyes narrowed, years of knowledge shadowed beneath the surface of her bright, green irises. “Truth?”

She made the word sound like something Tyr wouldn’t or shouldn’t want. But he nodded.

“I cannot stay in this form much longer. I am dying.”

Bekah’s words alarmed Tyr. “But you are immortal.”

“What gave you that impression?”

* * * *

“So.” Nathan traced the curves of Guillermo’s back. “You up for round two?”

“We haven’t finished with round one yet, amante.”

“I like the way you think.” Nathan chuckled.

Guillermo rolled off the bed and sauntered across the room.

“Where are you going?” He moved onto his side so he could get a full shot of Guillermo’s perfectly sculpted ass. “Not that I’m complaining about the view.”

“I have something I want to ask you, Nathaniel. Something very serious.”

“It must be if you’re calling me Nathaniel.”

Opening the top drawer of the bureau, Guillermo pulled out a small black box and carried it back to the bed. “You remember once you joked about divorce, and I commented that there had to be a real commitment before a divorce could happen.”

“What? You want a divorce?”

“You know I don’t.” Guillermo’s fingers brushed Nathan’s cheek. “I want a real commitment.” He opened the box. Inside was a half inch wide platinum ring. A wedding band.

“Uh, what’s this?”

“I’ve talked with your mother, and she…”

“You talked with my mother?”

Guillermo took the ring out and handed it to Nathan. “I only want to be with you, forever. Always. Te quiero, Nathaniel. Think about it.”

“I…” The child monitor squeaked then came to life at that moment as if it had been turned off then suddenly on. “I am dying, Tyr.”

“What the fuck now?” Grabbing his jeans from the floor, Nathan threw them on, shoving the ring in his pocket, lighting out of the bedroom with Gui close on his heels.

Chapter 2

The door to the nursery burst open as Nathan, followed by Guillermo, rushed in. “Dying? What the hell is going on in here?” Nathan took Bekah from Tyr’s arms.

“Yes. I’m dying. But it’s not hopeless.”

“I don’t believe this.” Sighing, Nathan slouched down into the rocker. “Why can’t anything ever be normal around here?”

Guillermo took a step forward. “I do not expect normalcy. But I do want an explanation.”

She waved her hand. “There are three stones.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Nathan grumbled.

Rebekah smiled and began to glow, light pouring from her eyes, nose, mouth, her skin taking on a translucent appearance.

“Bekah, stop. Stop this now.”

“It’s too late, Father. I’m fading. If you don’t get the stones, I die.”

Nadine strolled through the door as white light exploded in a flash across the room engulfing the three men completely. When the brightness faded, everyone, with the exception of Bekah and Nadine, had disappeared.

Nadine’s mouth dropped open as she scanned the room. “What the fuck just happened?”

* * * *

The rough stone floor, cold and damp, scraped against Nathan’s skin. “Bekah,” he whispered, unable to see through the penetrating darkness.

“Nathan.” He felt Guillermo’s hand slide across his shoulder.

Some of the tightness in Nathan’s chest lessened at the sound of his lover’s voice. “Oh, thank God.”

He felt an arm snake around his waist. “I am here, amante.”

“I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.”

“We were in Missouri, technically, but yes, you’re right. We’re not there anymore.”

A groan of pain sounded. “Tyr?” Nathan could hear the Viking’s incoherent ramblings in his mind. “Tyr. Are you okay?”

Ancient Nordic language, rapid, loud, hard and guttural, filled Nathan’s head.

“Tyr! Answer me.”

“Master…” The voice trailed off as the incoherent diatribe continued in his head.

“Oh God, Gui. Something’s really wrong with him.” Nathan crawled away from Guillermo, feeling along the stone floor. “I’m coming. Stay calm. Stay calm. I’m coming.”

The psychic connection he had with Tyr was more acute than it had ever been. He’d felt the vampire’s pain and had heard his thoughts before, but never to this degree. The overwhelming urge to find Tyr, to comfort him, to take care of him nearly crippled Nathan—until his hands brushed the hulking vampire. Nathan’s touch calmed his bonded servant, the words that had been rapid fire, slowed and softened.

Cradling Tyr’s head into his lap, Nathan rocked. “It’s okay. It’s okay. I’m here now. I’m here.” He placed his wrist against Tyr’s lips. “Feed.”

Tyr licked Nathan’s skin over the vein offered like a dog submitting to his master before sinking his fangs into the fragile flesh.

He felt Guillermo’s shoulder brush against him. “What’s wrong with him?”

“I… I’m not sure.”

A woman’s voice carried through the darkness. “The blood bond is more heightened in this place and time.” Torches along the upper part of the walls flared in succession, lighting the entire room. At the far end, sitting on a throne of gold, a beautiful creature with long plaited white hair, and eyes that were as black as obsidian, inclined her head.

“Welcome to my home.” She sat back, tattooed symbols rippling with life against her pale skin. “You will have to forgive my lack of etiquette in greeting you. Bringing you here has taken more from me than I imagined it would.” Her voice, lyrical and seductive, slithered across Nathan’s skin like satin.

Tyr finally calmed.

Nathan disengaged his wrist. “Who are you? And why are we here?”

“I am your past, your present, and your future.”

“Oh Lord, I’m having A Christmas Carol nightmare.”

“I know not of what you speak, Father, but the nightmare has yet to begin.”

“Father? Bekah? But…”

“You are in my time now, Father, and I fear my influence is not without its limits. I must be brief. The child, Bekah, she was born with my soul and with my soul comes power. Great, wonderful, and terrible power.”

Screams sounded from outside the room, and a heavy thumping at the large wooden doors. The woman tried to stand, but crumpled back onto her throne. Guillermo stepped back toward the opposite wall while Tyr stood between Nathan and the threat on the other side of the door.

“Our time is short. They will break through my barrier soon and I will not be able to protect you.” She held out her slender hand and produced three iridescent crystals. Yellow, pale purple, and blue, the stones were bright with shimmering lights. “These are the libilis. The crystals do not exist in your time. They were destroyed shortly after my mortal death. This I have seen. Each of you will take a stone as one person cannot carry more than one through time. They are the only things that can save me. Save the child.”

Nathan took the yellow crystal. “How can this save Bekah?” It felt slick, oiled, as he rolled the multi-faceted stone between his fingers.

Tyr took the blue stone and Guillermo the last.

“They are the only objects potent enough to harness her power. Without them, destruction and death will follow her, she will not be able to control her abilities. The future of vampire-kind will be lost.”

The libilis began to glow in each of their hands. Nathan clenched his fist around the stone. “Uh-oh. Glowing’s never good.”

As a fine mist formed around them, the woman inclined her head. “You must get the stones to Bekah. Without the libilis all is lost.”

Turning to Guillermo, Nathan shook his head. “I’m getting a little sick of the whole ‘all is lost’ speech.” Before they completely disappeared into the dense fog, he couldn’t help but wonder what the future would hold.

* * * *

Lilith staggered from her throne as the doors burst open and a group of men barged into her chamber. She fell to the floor, drained and exhausted. Bringing Nathan, Tyr, and Guillermo to the past had used nearly all her magic.

“Where are the stones?” the leader demanded. His long, black hair brushed the floor as he dipped low, yanking Lilith’s head back. “Your tyranny ends today, Lilith. No longer will we allow you to sacrifice the humans to further your own ends. Your cruelty must be stopped.”

She chuckled, her voice barely a whisper as she stared at him defiantly. “Poor Garanth. You have not defeated me. You will kill me tonight. It is fated. But I will be reborn.” She coughed, blood dripping down her chin as she felt an invisible hand squeeze her heart. “I will live, and I will crush you all.” She spat in his face and smiled as the last breath left her body.

One of the other men fell in behind their leader. “What does she mean, Garanth?”

“Brothers.” The vampire, Garanth, gathered his men, eleven in all, into a circle around the fallen woman. “We must be strong. Lilith has seen the future, and it is our duty to stop her from bringing her plan to fruition. We must devote ourselves to nothing else.”

“Only we know the truth. The truth of her evil plans. She will not be satisfied until she either rules us all or destroys us.”

“Then it is settled.” Garanth held out his hands. “We must devote every day to our survival, with a single purpose. We must stop Lilith from being reborn to this world.”

The eleven men placed their hands with Garanth’s.

“Brothers.”

“In truth,” one of the men added.

“Brothers in truth,” they all agreed.

Chapter 3

A cool breeze brushed against Nathan’s skin as he reappeared next to a dumpster in an alley with the yellow stone in hand. Guillermo and Tyr weren’t with him anymore. Probably back at the house.

It was dark outside and by the moon’s position there was still plenty of night left. He looked again. Had it been a full moon when he’d left? Did it really matter? He needed to get back to the mansion. Needed to save Bekah. But first, he needed to figure out where he was.

The city felt different, smelled different, cleaner somehow. He lifted the lid to the dumpster. All the trash was compacted into little red boxes. Nathan sniffed. Nothing. The alley had been swept and there were no homeless huddled in dark corners for warmth.

“This has got to be the cleanest block in the whole damn city,” he muttered, making his way to the street. When he stepped out to cross, a speeding vehicle hovering three feet off the ground nearly ran him down. “What the hell?”

He looked down to the end of the block. A woman stood on the corner, waiting. Nathan hurried to where she stood. “Hey, lady, can you tell me what street this is?”

She turned and looked at him, and he could sense the fear rising in her. “Please. Don’t come near me. I have pepper spray.”

What a mess he must look. He hadn’t even thought about the fact that he wasn’t wearing any shirt or shoes, only a pair of jeans and the top button wasn’t even done. “I know I look strange, but I’m a doctor. I was, uh…” How could he possibly explain? “…mugged. The man stole my wallet, my clothes, my cell phone…”

The tension around her eyes eased and her shoulder dropped slightly. “You poor man.” She pulled a tiny flat square from her small clutch. “I’ll call the police for you.” She held the device to her mouth. “Metro PD.”

Nathan waved his hand. “No police. Please. I just want to know where I am.”

She swiped her thumb across the tiny screen, confusion written on her face. “Did you get hit on the head? This is Broadway.”

Looking around, Nathan shook his head. Nothing about this area looked like Broadway. Maybe he wasn’t in Kansas City any more. Maybe the stone, which grew warmer in his hand, had somehow taken him someplace else. “Broadway in… New York?”

“I think you really did get hit on the head. You’d better get that checked out.”

“So, Kansas City then.”

“Yes, of course, Kansas City.” The pity in her eyes was almost more than he could bear. He sounded crazy, even to himself. “Is there anyone you want me to call for you?”

“No. Thank you. Just point me in the direction of Valentine.” This was not the Kansas City Nathan had left behind just a few short minutes earlier.

* * * *

There was a definite sense of relief as he jogged up Valentine Road. The scenery looked unchanged and familiar. Thank God. He couldn’t wait to see his family. Even though it had been less than an hour, it was beginning to feel like an eternity. And during that time, something had gone horribly wrong in the city. He was no physicist, but all he could figure was that by going to the past, they’d somehow changed the present. But they hadn’t done anything to affect time. Or at least he didn’t think so.

Lights were on at the mansion, Nathan could see them from the road. He approached the iron gates blocking the driveway. They didn’t open. Weird.

He pushed the intercom. “Hello? Can someone open the damn gate?”

An unfamiliar deep masculine voice came over the com. “Who’s asking?”

Cold and irritated, Nathan was in no mood for games. “Uh, the fucking owner.”

“You have the wrong house, buddy.”

“Where the fuck is Guillermo?”

“You know Guillermo?”

“Yes, I know Guillermo,” Nathan said, tightlipped. “Who I don’t know is you. If you want to keep your job and not go back to being some vampire’s toy, you’ll open this goddamn gate.”

“Name?” There was some uncertainty in the man’s voice now.

“Nathan Greer, asswipe. Now, do I have to ask you to open the gate again?”

The iron hinges creaked as the gate slowly swung open. As he walked up the driveway, tired and cold, a woman came running down the path in a blur of motion. She threw herself at Nathan so quickly he barely had time to even try to defend himself against her. “Nathan. Oh Goddess. Thank the Goddess. Nathan.” She sobbed into his shoulder.

“Nadine?” He gently pushed her off him. She wore a black leather jacket, T-shirt, and blue jeans. In all the time Nathan had known her, he’d never known her to wear anything but latex. “Nadine.” Tears tracked down her face. She looked soft, broken. Nothing like the Nadine he’d grown to loathe. “What…”

“I’m so glad you’re back. Everything has gone wrong since you’ve been gone. Everything.”

“I’ve been gone less than an hour. What could have possibly happened?”

“An hour?” She shook her head. “Nathan, you’ve been gone for twenty-five years.”

“That’s not possible. I was in my room less than an hour ago. Then Gui, Tyr, and I were sent somewhere in the past and given some stones to bring to Bekah. Bekah! Is she all right? Please tell me she’s okay.”

“She’s… She’s fine.” There was a bitter quality to Nadine’s voice, but for once it wasn’t directed at Nathan.

“Thank God.” Nadine took his hand and pulled him toward the mansion. “Where’s Guillermo?”

“A lot has changed, Nathan. Guillermo is at the club. But we need to talk before you see him. And I have something to show you.”

When they entered the house, Nathan was filled with a sense of dread. Nadine led him to the basement door and pain began to flood his body. “No. I… I can’t. I can’t go down there.”

“You must.” Anguish covered Nadine’s face and liquid pooled in her violet eyes. “What you’re feeling is nothing compared to what he’s feeling.”

The door opened and the pain nearly doubled Nathan over. It was Tyr. Nathan could sense him, the pain was agonizing, but his thoughts were confused, muddled. He managed a whisper. “Why can’t I hear his thoughts?”

“I keep him drugged. It was the only way.” Her voice caught. “It was the only way to keep him from doing terrible things to himself… to others.”

“Terrible…”

“He tried to dig his own heart out, he ripped flesh from his own bones, and when he couldn’t kill himself, he killed others. He just went mad with the hunger. A hunger that couldn’t be satisfied with anyone’s blood but yours.”

Shock drove Nathan to his knees and he tumbled down the stairs.

“Nathan!”

“I’m okay,” he managed. “How… how did this happen?”

“He fought it. He fought the hunger hard. He went months in pain, always with hope that you’d come back. Bekah promised you’d come back. But it just got to be too much, even for him.” Nadine helped Nathan regain his feet. “You have to help him, Nathan. Help him or kill him. And if it comes to that, kill me as well.”

In that moment, Nathan realized, Nadine really loved Tyr. Not as another conquest, but real love. He’d never seen her look so vulnerable, so real, or so beautiful. He smoothed her dark hair. “The pain is crippling. I don’t know that I can walk on my own. Will you help me?”

“Yes.”

The room was at the far end of the basement. Nadine opened the steel door with multiple locks and carried Nathan into the room. Tyr lay clean and naked on a padded steel bed, shackled at both his wrist and ankles, blankets wadded and on the floor. His hair had been cut short and healing bite marks decorated his shoulders. A morphine pump with three bags of fluids trailed down to an IV tube poking into his right arm. Nathan understood. The vampire metabolism was very fast, and for the drug to be effective, it would have to be constant. Nadine had understood this as well.

Tyr stared up at Nathan, his mind fogged, unrecognizable. He didn’t move as Nadine brought them closer.

“Twenty-five years. Twenty-five years he’s been like this?”

“Yes.” Nadine choked back a sob. “He begged me to kill him. I couldn’t. They all think he’s dead. But… I couldn’t do it.” She set Nathan on the pad next to Tyr. “Please. Please help him. Help me. I know you don’t owe me a thing, Nathan. I know. But please.”

Even if Nadine hadn’t asked, hadn’t pleaded, Nathan would try. Tyr was his, but also, he knew, Tyr was Nadine’s. She had protected him, cared for him, kept him safe from himself and others. She’d carried this burden for a quarter of a century without anyone knowing. She wasn’t the same person she’d been. Or maybe she’d never been the person he thought she was.

The sharp twisting pain in Nathan’s gut was unbearable. He wanted to crawl from the room, to get away, far, far away. He searched for some lucidness in Tyr’s mind, something that showed the vampire still existed beneath the shell of his withering, pale body.

Nothing. It was as if he’d been wiped clean on the inside. “I can’t move, Nadine. Place my wrist over his mouth.”

Without hesitation, Nadine extended Nathan’s arm over Tyr.

“Prick the vein.”

Again, she followed his instructions. Blood dripped onto Tyr’s mouth. The vampire moaned as his lips parted.

“I’m not going to be able to stop the feeding once it begins. I’m trusting you to do this. His mind is gone, and I don’t know if I can bring it back. But I can ease his pain. Do you understand?”

“Yes.”

Could he trust her? Would she let him die to save her lover? The blood bond between Tyr and Nathan had happened when Nathan killed Tyr’s former master. If Nathan died, would it transfer to Nadine? Would Tyr be free? Or would it kill them both? He would take the risk. He may not owe Nadine, but he owed Tyr. “Place my wrist to his mouth.”

As the blood made its way into Tyr’s throat, the larger man swallowed. Instinctively he began to suck. Nathan could feel Tyr’s fangs extending, digging into his wrist, deepening the wound. The Viking’s arms pulled at the shackles, trying to reach for Nathan, but the pain was still great, terrible.

“It’s awful. Oh God, so bad.”

“What is, Nathan?” Her hands stroked Nathan and Tyr’s hands simultaneously. “Tell me. Tell me what’s happening.”

“It’s the pain. It’s unrelenting.”

“It’s working. Can you see, his muscles, they’re beginning to relax.”

She was right. The stabbing in his gut lessened, becoming a dull ache as Tyr’s sucking grew stronger, more vigorous. Nathan probed Tyr’s mind, searching for anything, a glimmer. “Something’s wrong. The pain is better but I still can’t hear his thoughts. Take him off the drip.”

“Are you sure…”

“Yes. Take him off.”

Nadine rushed to the other side of the bed and unplugged the pump. “I don’t want to take the line out of his arm. It took forever to find a vein that would hold.”

Exhausted, Nathan nodded. “Okay.” It would take a few minutes for Tyr’s system to burn out the drugs. “I need to hold on. Just a little more time.” He felt weak, tired, a new pain building in him, his own hunger from being drained. “I can do this.”

“What can I do? Anything?” Nadine draped her hands across his shoulders. Maybe if you take my blood, it can sustain you.”

“No.”

“Let me help.” Panic edged into her voice as she put her wrist to his mouth, her veins plump with a fresh blood.

Pushing her arm away, Nathan shook his head. “I… I need you to be strong.” He could hear his words slurred, drunk with blood loss. “I’m not going to last much longer.” He tried to pull his arm from Tyr’s mouth, but the teeth sunk deep, to the bone. “I can’t…”

Nathan saw more than felt Nadine’s fingers enter the side of Tyr’s mouth and pry his jaw open, his arm dropped, limp, as he fell backward onto Tyr’s stomach.

“Is he…”

“I don’t know,” Nathan mumbled. Still pain, though less. Tyr’s mind still fogged—that hadn’t gone away. “I need Guillermo.”

Small delicate boned hands soothed his cold skin. “He’s not how you remember him. None of us are.”

Still weak, but able to move again, Nathan crawled his way up the hard bed. Tyr grew stronger on the inside, but his mind remained muddled, disordered. Was it too late?

He stretched across Tyr’s massive chest, skin to skin. Instinct told him that Tyr needed to be touched. He half expected Nadine to protest as he rubbed his palms down arms and sides, caressing, kneading the taut muscles. Instead, she mirrored his movements, stroking his back and shoulders.

“What are you doing?” he asked, but didn’t draw away from her. He let her hands move down to his waist as she reached around and unfastened the top button on his pants.

“Blood.” She breathed the word. “And sex. Tyr, when he was still himself, told me. He’d been suffering, impotent, because he’d stopped mixing blood with sex. When he stopped getting both together from you, it made him less. If this is what it takes to make him more…” She unzipped the fly and rubbed Nathan’s cock.

“We shouldn’t.”

Kissing his ear, Nadine shushed him. “I used to think I’d rather die than share Tyr with you. Or share him with anyone, but especially you. Now, I’d rather die than have him live, or not live, like this.” She pulled his face around to hers. “I thought you were the enemy. I was wrong. So wrong, Nathan. You were what held us all together. We lost it, everything, when you disappeared.” Her lips touched his, soft. “I never hated you, Nathan. I hated me. I hated the way I felt around you. Inferior. But I don’t anymore. I want things back the way they were. I want Tyr back. I don’t care about anything else.”

A moan sounded from beneath them as Tyr stirred. Nathan still couldn’t hear anything coherent from his mind, but Nadine dipped her head and kissed his lips, and Tyr responded. “Nathan.” She stood and undressed, the piercings gone, her lithe body pale and unadorned. “Please. I think it’s working.”

Nathan hesitantly slid his pants off and lay half over Tyr, feathering kisses across his chest. Physically, Tyr reacted, his long, hard erection pressed against Nathan’s thigh, his body shaking, fevered with intense need, his arms pulling at the shackles as his hips thrust upward. Nadine slid herself behind Nathan, sliding her chest up his back, her nipples tugging against his skin.

A flood of desire, hungry and intense, both for Tyr and Nadine, filled Nathan and he couldn’t tell whether it was from Tyr or himself. The idea of having sex with Nadine hadn’t been high on his list of things he wanted to do, but that had been an hour ago, or twenty-five years…

He couldn’t get his mind around the fact that he’d actually been gone that long. This was a different world, a different Nadine, and it seemed she’d become an ally. Can I really trust her?

Another surge of need rushed through Nathan. He began to see Nadine through Tyr’s eyes, somewhere in the midst of the pain, willing himself to die daily. He knew she’d been there, caring for him, loving him, wanting more than anything to have him back in her arms. Flashes of her spending nights trying to comfort Tyr, crawling in next to him to sleep the day, only to wake and start again.

Nathan clenched his eyes shut to the horror that had been their lives without him. The images wouldn’t go away and he knew what he had to do. He owed Tyr, and most of all, he knew now he owed Nadine. She hadn’t given up on Tyr, and neither would Nathan.

Supple lips pressed against the base of his neck sending a shiver of pleasure washing down his spine and Nathan opened his eyes. He moved forward, Nadine moving with him, his cock brushing against Tyr’s causing a spark of static. Tyr moaned again, wriggling his hips. Nathan licked at the drying blood on Tyr’s lower lip. He ran his fingers through the blond man’s shorn hair, missing the length. Tyr’s clear blue eyes fixed on Nathan’s face, his pupils no longer dilated with drugs.

“Release me,” came a hoarse whisper. “Master.”

“Tyr?” Nathan captured his lips, pulling him into a deep kiss, as the larger man’s tongue darted to meet his own. Nadine reacted swiftly, unlocking the shackles on Tyr’s ankles and wrists. His massive arms moved just as quickly, his hands tangling into Nathan’s hair, his powerful thigh wrapping Nathan’s leg, as the kiss lengthened, grew more forceful. It took a moment for Nathan to realize that Nadine was no longer touching him, them. He pulled his face back from Tyr’s, breaking the kiss.

Next to the bed, Nadine stood, naked, pale, beautiful, her long red hair framing the curves of her shoulders and waist. Nathan expected to see jealousy, anger, even hatred. Instead, he saw unshed tears of joy and love as she watched the two men in their tangled embrace. Nathan held out his hand, inviting, welcoming, and she took it.

“My Tyr, my magnificent Tyr,” she said in a hushed voice as she lay next to them, her leg crossing over Tyr’s. She pressed both of their faces with her palms, urging them back into a kiss as her lips joined theirs.

“Nadine.” Tyr’s voice caught as he said her name. “You’ve suffered so much.”

Nathan suddenly felt as if he was intruding, maybe he didn’t belong, but he didn’t want to leave. We stay, the all-too-familiar voice of his inner Beast snarled.

“Stay,” Tyr echoed.

Nadine smiled and stroked his cheek. “Stay.”

Moving aside, Nathan made room for Nadine atop Tyr, who was nearly broad enough to carry them both. Nadine’s slender fingers met Nathan’s and intertwined around Tyr’s rigid shaft.

“I need…” Tyr squirmed beneath them, thrusting his hips forward. “Fuck.” He groaned, his eyes pleading. “Make me real again.”

“I…” Nathan started. Tyr’s thoughts were clear to him now—undeniable need to fuck and be fucked.

Nadine opened a bottle of scented oil. “I use it to massage him. It should suit your purpose.”

Wrapping a hand around Nadine’s neck, Nathan pulled her into a kiss. “Our purpose.” She was gentle, soft, more than he could ever imagine. So unlike the Nadine he knew just moments before arriving.

“Together then.” Pouring the oil onto her palms, she rubbed her hands together, the friction warming. Nadine stroked both Nathan and Tyr’s cocks, the slick lubricant coating their shafts. Static snapped her fingertip as it made contact with the small opening on the head of Nathan’s cock. “I used to think that was the thing that made you different. The reason I couldn’t compete.”

“Nadine…”

“It’s okay.” Her tongue flickered across his earlobe before she moved in front of him to straddle Tyr’s hips. Her back, beautifully curved, slender, bowed forward.

Using his knee, Nathan parted Tyr’s thighs and knelt between them. The fog in his servant’s mind cleared even more. Nathan could see Nadine through Tyr’s eyes; feel her wet pussy as it slid over his shaft. Pouring the oil onto his fingertips, he reached around Nadine’s waist and slipped his fingers down between her swollen folds. His other hand slid down the crack of Tyr’s buttocks, rimming the muscle, loosening, relaxing the tight ring with one finger, then two.

Don’t make me wait, he heard Tyr’s voice in his head.

“Don’t make me wait,” Nadine echoed.

“Do you…”

“Yes, I hear him.” Her pussy glided over the large, rigid cock, squeezing as she rocked her hips forward.

Nadine’s movements were controlled, deliberate, not like the night she’d turned Nathan. That night she’d been wild, frenzied, but now… sleek, sensual, sexy as hell. She is sexy as hell, Tyr echoed. The Viking raised his buttocks up, allowing Nathan to shift beneath him. Now fuck me.

Nathan obliged, pressing the thick head of his cock against Tyr’s anus. He pushed forward, sinking his shaft deep. Tyr moaned his pleasure. Nadine moaned, her rocking becoming more insistent. The bond allowed him to see and feel what Tyr did and the sensation was strange. Nathan was bombarded with stimuli—Tyr’s hot channel gripping his cock, Nadine’s pussy sliding up and down Tyr’s shaft, while feeling his own cock, buried deep in Tyr, filling his own ass. “Oh God.”

“Yes,” Tyr murmured.

“Shit,” Nadine squealed. They were both feeling it as well. The bond had managed to tie them all together, bombarding their senses.

Surging forward, Nathan leaned against Nadine’s back, sandwiching her between them. Tyr roared, feral, ferocious. His long arms wrapped around Nadine and Nathan and he rolled them over, still joined with both. He pushed his ass down, taking Nathan even deeper inside him, then thrusting forward into Nadine’s slick channel.

Reaching behind with one hand, Tyr’s fingers found Nathan’s anus. He pushed in one finger, then two. His other hand slipped beneath Nadine, probing, pushing until all three of them were fucking and being fucked, writhing, thrusting.

Tyr’s eyes, wide with passion, alive with pleasure, raked across Nathan and Nadine. “Thank you, thank you,” he mumbled before crying out as wave after wave of orgasm spilled through his body triggering Nathan and Nadine to come with him—bodies jerking, spasms, wriggling above and below.

They lay, one on top of the other, Nathan at the bottom, and if he’d needed to breath to survive, he’d have suffocated. Instead, he smiled under their weight. When Tyr pulled himself off Nathan, Nathan realized he hadn’t physically come, but it had felt like he had. Strange.

“You gave me too much of your blood, master.” Tyr kissed his lips, softly, and then curled next to Nadine. “It’s not unusual that you didn’t come.”

“Oh, I came.” Nathan smiled. “Whether I popped the cork or not, I came.”

Nadine laughed, rich and vibrant, pulling Tyr’s arms even closer to her body. “That was fan-fucking-spectacular.”

“Nathan.” Tyr struggled as he sat up and put his feet over the edge of the bed. Nadine moved behind him and braced his back. “I was lost, for so long, lost. Thank you for finding me again.”

Rubbing his hands over his eyes, Nathan grimaced. “Don’t. It’s my fault. I should have been here.”

“If the sun doesn’t rise tomorrow, is that your fault?” The blond turned to face his master. “It’s the stones. We should never have brought them back.”

“The stones?” Nathan remembered the yellow one in his pants pocket. Sudden alarm raced through him. “Didn’t they work? Nadine said Rebekah was okay. She’s okay? Right?”