The lady is a vamp, p.9
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       The Lady is a Vamp, p.9

         Part #17 of Argeneau series by Lynsay Sands
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Chapter Nine

 

  Jeanne Louise turned onto her back in the water and stared at the darkening sky. It was still light out, but the sun was setting, the sky awash in umber and purple. It wouldn't be long before those colors too were gone and full night fell. In the meantime, she'd decided to catch that swim she'd been yearning for all day, but hadn't dared take while the sun was out.

  Breathing out a pleased little sigh as the water slid over and around her body, Jeanne Louise turned her head in the water and glanced toward the cottage. The lights were on in the kitchen and living room. While it was still bright enough to see out here, inside, shadows were already filling the spaces.

  They'd had their weenie roast, and then roasted marshmallows as well. Paul had built the fire at the very edge of the beach where the shade from the tree had offered Jeanne Louise some cover so that she could participate. Afterward, they'd gone in to watch one of the huge selection of movies that belonged to the cottage. Most of them were older movies, with only one or two current ones, but they hadn't minded. Livy had begun to doze off toward the end of the movie so Paul had decided it was time to put her to bed.

  Leaving him to it, Jeanne Louise had come outside, taken one look at the water under the darkening sky and had decided it was time for her swim.

  The clack of the screen door closing drew her attention to the house and Jeanne Louise smiled when she saw Paul walking down toward the sand. Shifting to her feet, she started to walk out of the water. Paul met her at the water's edge, unfolding a beach towel she hadn't first noticed he held.

  "Thank you," Jeanne Louise murmured as he wrapped the towel around her shoulders. "Did you manage to get Livy off to sleep?"

  "Out like a light with Boomer curled at her feet," he said with a smile. "And not one headache since arriving at the cottage. "

  "Maybe the fresh air is good for her," she suggested, clutching both ends of the towel under her chin.

  "Maybe," Paul agreed, stepping back. He stared at her for a minute and then said abruptly, "You're probably hungry. "

  Jeanne Louise stilled. He wasn't talking about food. And he was right. She was hungry. The gal in the public washroom at the mall had barely been a snack. The problem was she was worried about getting overexcited and taking too much blood from him.

  "Howdy, neighbors. "

  When Paul glanced toward that call, Jeanne Louise did as well, a smile automatically lifting her lips in response to the grin on the face of the tall, lean middle-aged man approaching them.

  "I'm Russell Jackson," he announced, holding out his hand as he got nearer.

  Paul took it first, shaking in greeting. "Paul Williams," he introduced himself, using the name Jeanne Louise had used to register them at the motel. She could hardly use their real name when they were on the run, and Williams had seemed better than Smith. Turning to gesture to Jeanne Louise, he added, "And this is my wife, Jeanie. "

  She glanced at him with surprise, but recovered quickly and managed a smile as the man then turned to offer her his hand as well.

  "Pleasure," Russell said as he released her hand. "We're renting the cottage next door. Been here a week. Have one more before we head back home to work," he said with a grimace that suggested he'd rather stay on vacation.

  "Nice here?" Paul asked.

  Russell nodded. "Beautiful. The weather's been good, the cottage is gorgeous and so far the others staying around here have been great. "

  "Good to hear," Paul murmured.

  "Well, we all get to know each other and sort of hang around together. At least we did last week. All but two families were only here for a week. The Corbys on the other side of you and us. " He gestured to the cedar building on the right of their cottage. "My family and I are in the one on your other side," Russell added, gesturing back the way he'd come.

  "Are the Corbys as friendly as you?" Jeanne Louise asked with a smile.

  "Yep. Good people," he assured her. "They have a couple boys eight and ten, and my wife and I have a daughter who's six and a son who's nine. The four of them have been playing together and having a whale of a time while we adults relax and visit. Both families went to the provincial park today, took the kids for a little nature walk while the leaving renters cleared out. Stopped for dinner on the way back and just got in. That's why no one came to greet you sooner," he admitted and then asked, "You got kids?"

  "A daughter," Paul said with a nod. "Livy. She's five. "

  "Oh, my Kirsten will be happy about that. A girl to play with instead of all the boys," he said with a chuckle.

  "I'm sure Livy would love to meet her tomorrow," Jeanne Louise said when Paul hesitated. "She's sleeping now though. "

  "Yeah, my wife's putting the kids to bed right now too. All the fresh air and play knocks 'em right out," Russell said with a grin that suggested that wasn't a bad thing. "After we get the kids down though, we adults were thinking to build a fire and relax with a couple drinks. Are you two up for that?"

  "Yes," Jeanne Louise said when Paul glanced her way uncertainly.

  "Good, good. " Russell glanced back to his cottage and then toward the Corbys', and Jeanne Louise read what he was thinking. A fire in front of the cottage she and Paul were in would be best, made it equidistant from both the Jacksons' cottage and the Corbys' so that everyone could keep an ear out for their kids.

  "We could have the fire here in front of our cottage if you like? Couldn't we, honey?" Jeanne Louise suggested for Russell when she read his hesitation to be so forward.

  Paul nodded at once. Not only was it equidistant to the other cottages, but it kept them close to hear Livy, she knew.

  "That's a fine idea," Russell said, grinning. "I'll just go tell John. Corby," he added since he hadn't given them his first name before this. "I'll go tell him and then head back to the cottage to tell the wife and pack some drinks and snacks in a cooler. We'll meet you back here in . . . say . . . half an hour?" he suggested.

  "Sounds good," Paul said at once.

  Nodding, Russell moved off toward the Corbys' cottage.

  "We'd best go inside and see to the feeding now then," Paul said quietly, taking her arm to usher her to the cottage.

  "That's all right, Paul. It can wait until after we come back in," Jeanie said at once, but didn't pull free. If they were going to sit around a bonfire with other couples, she wanted to put on one of the T-shirts and pairs of shorts she'd picked up while in town.

  "Are you sure?" Paul asked as he opened the cottage screen door and held it for her.

  "Positive," Jeanne Louise answered as she moved past him to enter the kitchen, and she was. As hungry as she was and as carried away as she got when he kissed and caressed her, she'd rather wait and see if she couldn't manage a snack on one of their neighbors first to ease the worst of her hunger. The last thing she wanted was to accidentally kill Paul. Pushing that unpleasant thought away, she headed for her room saying, "I'm going to change. "

  "Okay. I'll get some drinks and snacks together for us," Paul said, moving to the refrigerator.

  Jeanne Louise was quick about changing and was back in the kitchen to help Paul before he finished gathering what they needed. She then helped him carry it down to the beach. While Paul started a bonfire, she gathered six of the eight lawn chairs that belonged to the cottages and set them up around it.

  "Look at that. You build one hell of a fire, Paul," Russell greeted as he approached out of the darkness with a cooler in hand and a petite brunette on his heels. The woman had a plate of cheese in one hand and a couple bags of chips in the other. "This is my wife, Cecily. Cecily, Paul and Jeanie Williams. "

  "Hi," Jeanne Louise said and hurried forward to take the chips as one of the bags started to slip from the brunette's clutches.

  "Thank you," Cecily said with a grin. "And hello. "

  Jeanne Louise chuckled and followed her to the two chairs Russell set the cooler between.

  "I h
ave some sausage cut up and crackers inside still," Cecily announced as she set the cheese plate on the cooler. "I won't be a minute. "

  "Do you need a hand?" Jeanne Louise offered.

  "Actually, yes, if you don't mind," Cecily said with a smile. "I need to grab some glasses too. "

  "I don't mind at all," Jeanne Louise assured her, setting the bags of chips down by the cooler and following her back to the cottage the Jacksons had rented.

  "I was relieved when Russell said you two had a little girl about our daughter's age. Not that the boys haven't been including our daughter, Kirsten, in their play, but I know she'll have more fun with another little girl to play with," Cecily said as they approached the cottage.

  "I'm sure Livy will be happy to have a friend too," Jeanne Louise assured her, eyeing the woman's long hair and thinking it would hide the marks from her bite. At least it would hide them from Paul. She'd have to put it in the woman's head that they were mosquito bites to explain them away to her husband, though, in case he saw them. The punctures wouldn't be that big, but they would be there.

  "Here we are," Cecily said, leading her into the cottage. It was set up much the same as the one they were in, and it was decorated just as attractively, Jeanne Louise noted, and then glanced to Cecily, slid into her thoughts, and moved up behind her for a quick bite. It was always best to bite same sex donors from behind. Most people's memory was visual. If they saw nothing but blank wall during the biting it made it less likely that seeing something or someone would bring back the memory of being bitten.

  Jeanne Louise was careful not to take too much blood. It was easy to do when you weren't overexcited and in the throes of passion. She then helped Cecily collect the remaining items she'd wanted and carry them back out to the fire.

  The Corbys had arrived by the time they reached the bonfire. Russell introduced John Corby and his wife, Sharon, to Jeanne Louise and then the group all settled around the fire and began to get acquainted.

  The two couples were quite nice, the conversation friendly and amusing, and Jeanne Louise was actually enjoying herself when a sudden shriek from the cottage behind them made her stiffen. She was on her feet in a flash and nearly forgot and used her immortal speed to rush to Livy, but caught herself at the last minute and forced herself to move at mortal fast instead. It was hard though-she wanted to hurry. Jeanne Louise didn't know what had woken the child, but she was obviously having another one of her headaches.

  She didn't realize Paul had followed her until he reached past her to open the cottage door for her.

  "Thanks," Jeanne Louise murmured as she stepped inside. She immediately gave up on mortal speed for immortal now that she was in the house and not visible to the others.

  Livy was lying on the floor beside her bed, heart-wrenching sobs shaking her whole body. Boomer was licking her face and whining with concern. Jeanne Louise slipped into her thoughts as she entered the room, but there was no headache this time.

  "Oh, sweetie, what is it?" she asked, bending to pick up the girl.

  "I fell out of bed," Livy wailed, wrapping her arms around Jeanne Louise's neck and holding on for dear life.

  "Ah, poor muffin," Jeanne Louise cooed, hugging and rocking the girl. "Did you hurt yourself?"

  "My elbow," Livy cried pulling back to point at the broken skin on the end of her elbow. She'd either banged it on the bedside table or the floor as she'd fallen, Jeanne Louise supposed, but could have wept with relief. No headache, just your average "child falls out of bed" moment.

  "I didn't think to buy a first-aid kit," Paul said, joining them beside the bed.

  Jeanne Louise glanced at him, noting that he looked relieved to find his daughter just had a normal child moment too.

  "I'll go see if the Jacksons or Corbys have some antiseptic and a bandage they can spare," he added and turned from the room.

  "Okay. " Jeanne Louise said and continued to rock Livy until her tears eased, and then sat on the bed with her in her lap to wait.

  "Hello?"

  Jeanne Louise glanced toward the door at the sound of that female call. She recognized Sharon Corby's voice. "Back here. "

  "Paul said you needed a Band-Aid and some antiseptic," Sharon said appearing in the doorway a moment later with both in hand. "He wanted to come back, but I told him we women could handle it," she said lightly, and then her gaze slid to Livy and she asked sympathetically, "Did someone fall out of bed?"

  Livy sniffed and nodded, then held up her elbow for her to see and Sharon moved forward at once, "oohing" and "oh dearing" and generally making a fuss as she spread some salve on the wound and then covered it with a bandage.

  "Better?" Jeanne Louise asked as Sharon straightened from her nursing duties. When Livy nodded, she smiled faintly, kissed her cheek and stood up with her. Turning, she set her in bed, pulled the sheet up to cover her and kissed her forehead affectionately. "You go back to sleep, sweetie. You have lots of playing to do tomorrow. "

  "Yes, Mommy," Livy said sleepily, her eyes blinking closed, and Jeanie positively froze at the title, her heart stopping.

  "Wow, she dropped right off to sleep, poor thing," Sharon whispered with amusement.

  Jeanne Louise straightened slowly, telling herself Livy had just been confused because she was so tired. It didn't mean anything that she'd called her Mommy. She shouldn't be feeling like she wanted to grab the girl up and hug and kiss her like crazy.

  "All that weeping and wailing must have worn her out. "

  Managing a smile, Jeanne Louise turned to the woman. One more snack before feeding off Paul later tonight could only be a good thing, she thought, eyeing the woman's short hair with pursed lips. The marks would be visible on the neck. Her gaze slid down to the woman's wrist and the large clunky watch she wore. The band would hide marks on her wrist though, Jeanne Louise decided.

  "Thank you so much for your help," she murmured, slipping into the woman's mind as she moved forward. Jeanne Louise made her turn and walk out into the hall, and then took her hand and had her peer up the hall as she eased the watch band aside and raised Sharon's wrist to her mouth.

  Moments later, the two women walked outside, Jeanne Louise chuckling softly as Sharon commented that she wished she'd had a girl along with her boys and told her some of the antics her sons had got up to over the years. She was sure a girl would be less troublesome, or at least would need fewer trips to the emergency room for stitches.

  "Livy okay?" Paul asked as they reached the bonfire.

  "She's fine," Jeanne Louise assured him as she settled in her chair next to his. "She went right back to sleep as soon as she was bandaged up. "

  "Good. " He smiled softly, then reached out and took her hand to give it a squeeze of thanks.

  Jeanne Louise smiled back, and relaxed in her chair, but then was almost afraid to breathe in case he realized he hadn't let go of her hand. She liked his holding her hand. It felt right. It was a bit distracting though. Especially since he was absently rubbing his thumb over the back of her hand, sending shivers up her arm. With him doing that Jeanne Louise found herself having trouble following the conversation going on around the fire now, and was relieved when Cecily gave a large yawn after an hour passed and announced that she was ready to call it a night.

  "Already?" Sharon asked with regret and then glanced at her watch, her eyebrows rising. "Goodness, is it midnight already? I guess time does fly when you're having fun. "

  "Yeah, and the kids will be up with the dawn," Cecily said, standing and beginning to collect the remainder of the things she and Russell had brought.

  "Yes," Sharon said on a sigh, getting to her feet now as well. "Come on, John, your boys will be knocking on the bedroom door at dawn demanding you take them fishing as promised. "

  John Corby groaned. "I forgot about that. "

  "Well, I can guarantee that the kids haven't," Russell said with a chuckle as he stood as well and picked up his cool
er. He glanced to Paul. "Do you and Livy want to come along, Paul? There's room for two more in the boat and Jeanne Louise can go shopping in London with the girls. That's what they have planned for the morning. "

  Jeanne Louise stiffened at the offer, but needn't have worried. Paul chuckled, but shook his head. "Thanks for the offer, Russell, but I get seasick, and Livy takes after her old man. Besides I promised the girls a trip to the ice cream shop tomorrow morning. "

  "All right then," Russell said easily, turning away. "Maybe we'll see you tomorrow afternoon. It's 'loll on the beach and watch the kids swim' time in the afternoons. "

  "Sounds good," Paul said. "Night. "

  A chorus of good nights followed as the other two couples moved away from the fire, headed for their own cottages.

  "Do you really get seasick?" Jeanne Louise asked curiously.

  "Fortunately, yes," Paul admitted wryly.

  "Why fortunately?" Jeanne Louise asked with surprise.

  "Because I'm a terrible liar and would have had trouble coming up with an excuse to avoid it otherwise. "

  "Not keen on fishing?" she asked with amusement.

  "Jeanie, I'm a science geek," he said dryly, as if she may have forgotten it. "Give me blood, cell cultures, and petri dishes to play with and I'm happy. But worms and hooks and scaly, slimy fish are just gross. "

  She burst out laughing at the claim, and then glanced around with a sigh. "I guess I should gather our stuff together and head in too. Livy will probably be up early. "

  "Yeah," Paul said with regret, and then stood up, using his hold on her hand to pull her up as well. She wasn't expecting that, and came up with a gasp and sort of stumbled against him. Paul immediately closed his arms around her, one of her hands still in his as he caught her close, the action unintentionally making her arch against him, her hips grinding into his.

  They both froze briefly at the contact, and then Jeanne Louise leaned her head back to peer up at him.

  "You need to feed yet. " The reminder was a bare growl of sound on the night breeze. If Paul had been immortal, she was sure his eyes would be glowing, and knew hers probably were.

  Jeanne Louise just stood still for a moment, allowing the heat to build in her, and then she reached up with her free hand, slid it around his neck and drew his head down until she could reach his lips. The kiss was at first tentative and questing, but then Paul released her hand to cup her face and deepened the kiss, his mouth becoming demanding, his tongue slipping out to lash her.

  It made her groan, and Jeanne Louise slipped her arms around his waist, fingers scraping hungrily up his back, and then dropping to slip beneath his T-shirt and touch the flesh it covered. Paul moaned at the contact, and then urged her head back to allow his mouth to travel over her chin and down her throat. He then released her face and let his hands travel, sliding them over her shoulders and down her arms in a tantalizingly light caress. Then he reached for the hem of her T-shirt.

  Jeanne Louise glanced down, and then instinctively raised her arms as he tugged the T-shirt up and off over her head as if undressing a child. The shirt was floating to the ground and Paul's hands had found and cupped her breasts through the strapless swimsuit top that remained before she could even lower her arms.

  Moaning at the caress, Jeanne Louise grabbed his shoulders and rose up on her tiptoes in response, her upper body arching up and away while her pelvis pressed tighter against him.

  When he released one breast and reached around behind her, she began pressing kisses to his throat, and licking at his salty skin. She felt him work at the clasp of her bathing suit top, and then the scrap of black cloth slipped away, leaving her bare to his attention. Jeanne Louise gasped and nipped at his neck as his hands fondled and kneaded the firm globes now revealed.

  She heard Paul murmur her name and leaned back to peer at him, only to have him cover her mouth with his. His kiss was hungry, his kneading of her breasts becoming almost painful, and then he broke their kiss to begin trailing his mouth down her throat again as his fingers found her nipples and tweaked teasingly.

  Jeanne Louise cupped his head and moaned, her upper body leaning back to give him better access as his mouth continued toward the slope of one breast. His tongue laved her along the way and then curled around her erect nipple as his mouth closed over it. That made her gasp and clutch at his hair and then she gasped again as his hands dropped to find her bottom and urge her tighter against him.

  When one hand then slid down the back of her shorts to clasp her behind, Jeanne Louise groaned and rubbed herself against the hardness between his legs. Paul groaned in response and retrieved his hand to catch the waistband of her tight jean shorts and push them down, trying to force them over her hips without undoing them. They weren't going, of course, and he growled with frustration against her breast, then gave up trying to push them down and instead cupped her between her legs through the heavy cloth, nearly lifting her off the ground as he did.

  Jeanne Louise cried out and clutched at his shoulders, then gasped in surprise when she felt his other hand at her waist and the snap of her jeans suddenly gave way. In the next moment, his hand slipped from between her legs and her jean shorts slid over her hips and slid down her thighs.

  "Paul," she breathed, the vague thought that they should take this inside dancing at the edge of her mind, but not fully taking root before he was pushing down the scrap of her bathing suit bottoms and replacing the material with his fingers, sliding them between her legs to cup her again, but this time without the cloth to hinder him.

  Gasping, Jeanne Louise tugged viciously at his head, pulling his mouth from her breast to claim it in a kiss that was hard, hot, and somewhat frantic as his fingers slid between her folds and began to play over her slick skin. When her legs, already trembling, began to give out, Paul dropped to his knees in the sand with her, his kiss and caresses unrelenting as he sent wave after wave of heat and passion surging through them both.

  "Christ," he growled suddenly, tearing his mouth from hers to press heated kisses to her cheek and neck as he muttered, "I touch you and I go up in flames. "

  "Yes," Jeanne Louise gasped, though she wasn't so much answering or agreeing as urging him on as she released her hold on his shoulders to reach for the snap and zipper of his jeans. She undid both and pushed the material down until his eager erection popped out, hard and hot, surging with delicious blood.

  Jeanne Louise actually considered trying out the genital biting she'd heard so much about, but worried it might cause him some discomfort after the fact, and instead suddenly pushed him backward. In her eagerness, she used a little more force than she'd intended and Paul fell back, landing hard on his back in the sand with a grunt. She didn't give him a chance to recover. Feeling barren without his hands on her, Jeanne Louise crawled up his body until she could kiss him, and then lowered herself to rub against his hardness.

  Paul kissed back on a groan, his hands moving to clasp her breasts and fondle as she rubbed herself over him again and again. But then he reached for her hips, holding her still as he shifted himself beneath her, and then he was urging her down, his hardness pressing into her.

  Jeanne Louise broke their kiss and threw her head back to stare blindly at the stars as her moist heat closed tightly around him, clenching and squeezing him from tip to base and trebling their combined pleasure. She then lowered her head again to peer down at him and raised herself until he nearly slid out, before dropping to take him in again.

  Paul met her gaze, his jaw clenched against the waves rushing through him. When he raised his hand to her face, she turned into it and then opened her mouth to allow one finger to slip between her lips. She immediately drew the digit into her mouth and began to suck on it as she moved, so caught up in the combination of things she was doing that she was completely caught by surprise when Paul suddenly snatched his finger free of her lips, caught her by the waist and rolled them both.

 
In the next moment, Jeanne Louise was on her back in the sand with him over her. Paul paused briefly, his erection sunk deep in her, but when she reached up and drew his head down for a kiss, he began to move, driving them both over the edge and into the void.
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