Home > Tall, Dark & Lonely (Pyte/Sentinel #1)(12)

Tall, Dark & Lonely (Pyte/Sentinel #1)(12)
Author: R.L. Mathewson

He raised one arrogant eyebrow. “Go ahead.”

“What?” She hadn't expected that.

“I said go ahead. Open the door and go tell them that I am a bloodsucker. I’m sure you’ll give everyone a good laugh.”

“But….” He was right she would look insane. “Fine I’ll get David to back up my story.”

Ephraim laughed. “David will never be able to look at you without pissing himself and running the other way.” His expression became serious. “Besides, you should really leave him alone. He’s going to have enough to deal with.”

That reminded her. “Ephraim, I need to know what's wrong with his blood.”

“No, first I need to know some things.”

“Like what?”

“I know you didn’t sleep with him. I need to know if you did anything short of sleeping with him.” It pained him to ask her.

Her mouth dropped open. “You what? How would you know I haven’t slept with him and wait where do you get off? It’s none of your business what I’ve done with anyone!”

He seemed unconcerned with her questions. “I know you’re a virgin. I can smell it.” He tapped his nose. “Heightened senses and all that.”

She didn’t think it was possible, but she was more embarrassed now than she was twenty minutes ago at the dinner table when Candy made her announcement. It made her angry that he knew. It was none of his damn business.

“I’m not telling you a damn thing. If your sense of smell is heightened then you tell me what I did or didn’t do,” she challenged. Mistake. It was a mistake.

She saw a flash of color and then felt a cool breeze. Ephraim stood directly in back of her. She shrieked and tried to run when two large warm hands gripped her shoulders. “Hold still. This was your idea, remember?”

“I..I…didn’t mean…”

“Shush and hold still. I’m working here,” he mumbled, his tone filled with amusement.

He shouldn’t be doing this. He really shouldn’t. She was his weakness in so many ways, but she challenged him and refused to answer his questions. He didn’t have the patience for this game. He had to know if she was sick too.

Holding her still by her shoulders, he used his face to push her smooth hair away from her neck. The feel of her hair against his face was erotic. He closed his eyes and fought for control.

“No biting!”

“Shh, I’m trying to focus.” He ran his tongue over his fangs, sending them back. It was too tempting to be this close to her neck so he needed to work fast. He skimmed his nose down her neck, ignoring the impulse to run his tongue over her skin. His nose skimmed down her back and then over her backside.

Thank god she couldn’t see his huge grin as he did that. He considered staying there for a minute, but felt her tense beneath his hands. She would probably slap him or throw those damn lumpy potatoes at him. He released her shoulders and ran his nose down her leg.

“Finally-hey!” She yelped as he took her hand into his and smelled it. He released it and walked away from her.

“Well?” she asked expectantly.

He didn’t turn around as he made his way to the door. “You’re fine. That’s all I wanted to know. Thanks,” he said dismissively. He opened the door, keeping his eyes lowered as he disappeared to the left.

“What? Hey, that’s not fair! Get back here! You didn’t answer my questions!” She ran after him, but he was already gone. That’s fine. She knew where he would eventually end up. She turned to the right with every intention of going there to wait for him when she literally ran into Grandma.

“Whoa!” Grandma grabbed her to steady her before she fell backwards. “What’s going on? Where’s Ephraim?”

Madison looked past her. The foyer was empty. “Where is everyone?”

Grandma waved a hand in the air. “They’re in the living room watching movies and eating pizza. They settled down once they saw David leave.” Grandma studied her for a long moment. “Are you okay?”

“Yes, I’m fine. Why wouldn’t I be?” Her eyes ran to her destination, the stairs.

“Because of what that awful man did.”

Oh, that. She shrugged. “I’m over it.” And onto new things like finding out the answers to all her questions. He was going to answer her and that was that.

“Hmm, you don’t look too upset.”

She shrugged. “I’m not. What I am though is tired. Can you tell everyone that I’m sorry about tonight and tell them that I’ll see them tomorrow?”

Grandma looked reluctant to let her go, but in the end she nodded. “Okay, goodnight, Madison. Make sure you get enough sleep.”

“I will.” And all of her answers.

Chapter 7

“Good,” he mumbled as he stepped away from her door. Her light snores were even. For the last four hours he drove around waiting for her to get tired and go to sleep. He knew she would try and wait up for him. Sure enough for the first two hours when he drove by the house he spotted their small hallway light on. She was waiting.

She wanted answers. Answers she thought he owed her. He didn’t owe anyone anything. As far as he was concerned he did her a favor tonight and that was the end of it. She could ask as many questions as she wanted. He wasn't going to budge. This was none of her business.

He only hoped that she didn’t get obsessed with him and start sprouting tales about him drinking the blood of babies or anything. He would hate to see her locked up in some mental hospital.

It had been a long night and he was tired. He stripped out of his clothes and headed for the bathroom. Even after all these years he couldn’t go to bed without washing first. The feel of that grime still haunted him. The few times he tried to go to bed or go to work in the morning without taking a shower first were mistakes. He spent all night itching from the imaginary grime and all day bitching and snapping at people.

The only good thing about taking a shower at two in the morning was the hot water. There was plenty of it. He stood beneath the showerhead, savoring the feeling of scalding hot water running down his scalp and back.

A small click was the only clue he got that his night was not over with yet. Great. He sighed and shut the water off. “You’re never going to give up, are you?”

“No,” she said in an offhanded tone.

“Are you going to hand me a towel?”


“Fine.” He didn’t care. He wasn’t shy or modest. He flung back the shower curtain and stepped out onto the small bath rug.

Madison’s eyes widened in surprise. “What are you doing?” Her eyes dropped to his h*ps and widened even further.

“Getting a towel since you denied me one.” He grabbed a towel from the rack and unhurriedly dried off.

“But..but..” she sputtered.

He sighed. “Let me guess, you thought you would keep me trapped in the shower by not handing me a towel or any clothing until I answered your questions, right?”

She looked guilty, but admitted nothing. “You owe me some answers.”

He wiped his face off. “Really and how did you come to this conclusion?”

“Because you stole answers from me! Now you owe me.”

He shrugged. “You’re welcome to sniff me.”

She gasped. “That’s not what I meant.”

“Well, that’s what I did so if we’re being fair that’s what you should do.” His eyes dropped to his still na**d form and then to her very clothed form. “Of course if we were being completely fair you would let me see you naked.” He wagged his eyebrows.

“I will not! You know what? I bet you didn’t get any answers from me. You just did that because you’re either a pervert or you’re trying to trick me into telling you things.”

He chuckled. “Yeah, that’s what I did. I tried to trick you into talking. Of course my leaving then kind of put a stop to that plan just like now.” With that he dropped the towel and stalked back to his room. She followed.

“You don’t know anything! You only guessed that I’m a virgin….” she gasped, “wait, you were in the bathroom tonight while Jill and I were talking. You didn’t guess. You heard!”

“I don’t have to go into the bathroom to hear what you say. I have perfect hearing as well.” He looked guilty though. She knew that look. It was the same look Jill and Joshua had when they got caught doing something bad.

She leaned against the wall, satisfied that she had him for once. “That might be true, but you wanted a closer spot. You were eavesdropping on me. Admit it, that's how you found out. You didn’t find anything out about me just by sniffing me.”

He threw her an exasperated look. “Fine, you want to play this game?”

“Yes,” she said firmly, straightening up from the wall.

Ephraim pulled a pair of underwear on. He really should walk around na**d to make her feel uncomfortable enough to leave, but she was starting to make him feel uncomfortable enough to hide his response to her.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes!” she stressed.

He sat down on the bed and leaned back on his elbows. She did her best to concentrate on his face and not his well shaped chest or abs. It would really help if he put a shirt on. “Aren’t you cold?”

“No, I’m fi-” He stopped talking and grinned hugely. “Is this bothering you?” He gestured to his stomach.

“What? No, don’t be ridiculous.” She sounded annoyed, but she was really embarrassed. How did he know?

“Then I see no reason to cover up since it doesn’t bother you,” he teased.

“You were going to tell me what you found out from smelling me.” She hoped it distracted him from her discomfort.

He sighed. “Okay, but remember you asked me to tell you. Very well then. From just smelling you I know that you showered an hour before you came down for dinner.”
She scoffed “You knew that already.”

“May I continue or are you planning on interrupting me continuously?”

She waved a hand in the air. “Continue.”

“You’re too kind,” he said dryly. “I know that you are wearing Calvin Klein perfume, but there’s still a hint of cucumber and melon body spray on your skin from this morning. You use Tide to wash your clothes and you were near someone today who smoked cannabis a week ago.” Her mouth dropped open.

“Also, in I would say in fifteen days your period is going to come. From the smell of your skin I suspect it will come in the early morning.” She felt her face flush. “I also know you are not on any type of birth control which means that you weren’t really considering sleeping with David any time soon which is a very good thing.”

“How do you know I wasn’t-“

“You’re responsible. I know how you feel about Candy’s sexual escapades and how upset you were about Jill’s mistake. You’re the type of woman who would start birth control the minute you even thought you might take a man to your bed.”

She bit her lip and very much wanted to leave the room, but she stayed. She wanted answers and this way he might feel that he owed it to her. “May I continue?”

“Yes,” she said quietly.

“Okay, I also know that David never laid a hand on you. I know he touched your breast from the outside of your shirt I would say two days ago, but that touch didn’t last long just like his kisses don’t last long.”

Her embarrassment forgotten momentarily she asked. “Wait, how do you know that? You smelled me from behind?”

Ephraim lazily scratched his stomach. “Messages travel over your skin. Think of it as a network. Anything that happens in front will be transmitted to the back. I only need to run the length of you to get my answers.”


“As I was saying. You don’t like his kisses. From what I can tell you break off the kiss whenever he tries to invade your mouth. He grabbed your breast when he thought you were distracted. Very amateur.”

“Oh, and I bet you’re an expert?” she snapped.

He gave her a lopsided smile. “I’ll admit it’s been a while, but a man never forgets.”

“How long?”

He shook a finger at her. “No, we’re talking about you now, Madison. Let’s see, your skin…..ah, I also know that no man has ever touched you intimately.” He tilted his head to the side and studied her. “You’re a very strict date I take it.”

She nodded so he continued. “Good for you, especially now since it probably saved your life.”

Madison shifted uncomfortably. “What do you mean? What was wrong with him?”

He sighed. “Madison, he has HIV. You’re lucky that he didn’t win that bet.”

“Oh my god.” She felt breathless.

“You’re fine, Madison. I didn’t need to taste your blood to get my answer.”

“Are you sure? Cause if you need to,” she held out her hand, “you can take some just to make sure.”

He flinched back as if she struck him. “I’m not going to bite you!”

“Why not?”

“For f**k sake, Madison, you’re a virgin! You’ve only kissed men. You’re safe.”

She waved that aside as if it weren’t important. “I get that, but you seem rather adamant that you aren’t going to drink my blood.”

“I’m not! Stop trying to push it.”

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