Home > Duncan (Vampires in America #5)

Duncan (Vampires in America #5)
Author: D. B. Reynolds

Vampires in America series by D.B. Reynolds


Chapter One


Los Angeles, California



Cyn shivered slightly and moved closer to the wave of heat coming from the Learjet’s engines. It made the frigid hangar marginally bearable. She hunched deeper into her coat and peered through the dim light. Raphael was down near the nose of the aircraft, deep in conversation with Juro. She could only make them out because of the multicolored glow of the jet’s cockpit coming through the windshield. Raphael looked up briefly, and his eyes flashed silver. Her heart twisted at the sight. He was so gorgeous. It still took her breath away sometimes.

“He worries about you.”

Cyn controlled an involuntary jerk of surprise at the sound of Duncan’s voice over her left shoulder. “Duh,” she said, rolling her eyes in his direction.

Duncan laughed as she turned towards him. “I will miss you, Cyn, you and Raphael more than anyone else.”

“It’s all happening so fast,” she complained softly.

Duncan leaned forward. “Not really. We’ve planned this for some time, but it’s been only days that we knew the time was right. And you haven’t been yourself lately—”

“What? You thought I’d have a relapse or something if you told me? It’s my body that was injured, Duncan, not my mind. I’m not that fragile.”

He was silent for a long time, standing perfectly still, the way he did sometimes, until she could almost forget he was there.

“You didn’t see him, Cynthia,” he said at last. “When we thought you would die, you didn’t see what it did to him. You weren’t the only person damaged that night, and you need to take care of him now, because I won’t be here to do so.”

Cyn grabbed his hand when he would have turned away. “I love him, Duncan. More than anything in the world.”

“I know that. But you need to care for him as well. I couldn’t leave otherwise.” He tightened his hold on her hand and raised it to his lips, kissing it softly.

“Duncan,” Raphael’s deep voice interrupted, his hand leaving a line of welcome heat as he trailed his fingers down Cyn’s back before resting a hand on her hip.

“My lord,” Duncan responded with a respectful nod.

Raphael grinned. “Not for much longer.”

Duncan lifted one shoulder. “You may no longer be my lord officially, Sire. But in truth, it will always be so.”

Cyn stepped back to give the two of them their moment, their voices a bare rumble of sound over the whine of the jet’s engines. It was pathetic the way they stood there pretending to be all manly about their feelings. Far better if they’d just hug, maybe shed a tear or two, and get it over with. But no, that wasn’t going to happen. Raphael shot her a glance over his shoulder, looking as close to desperate as she’d ever seen him. She snickered. Apparently, the hugs and tears were going to be left entirely to her.

“All right, my turn,” she said, taking pity at last. She stepped up to Duncan and threw her arms around him in a big, honest-to-goodness hug. No back patting to nullify the emotion of the moment, no quick kiss-kiss sort of fakery. She hugged him long and hard. He hugged her back, too, although she was certain he was being careful of his vampire strength and her still-healing body. But despite all of that, he hugged her, and she felt his head turn away from Raphael, as if to conceal the emotion on his face.

“I’ll miss you, Duncan,” she whispered. “He’ll miss you, too.”

“I know,” he murmured at her ear.

“And I’ll take care of him for you.”

“For both of us.”

“That, too.”

He laughed then, and she stepped back, slipping her arm around Raphael’s waist while still holding Duncan’s hand.

“We’ll visit,” she promised. “And you can visit us. None of that vampire territorial bullshit, okay?”

Duncan exchanged a look over her head with Raphael, and Cyn pursed her lips in thought. Those two were up to something. They wouldn’t tell her what it was, of course, but she’d figure it out. She frowned, glancing at the big, industrial clock on the wall of the hangar. Nearly ten p.m. here in California. By the time they got clearance and were off the ground . . .

“Aren’t you cutting it kind of close?” she asked worriedly. Duncan was taking the smaller of Raphael’s two jets. Small was a relative term when it came to private jets, but she couldn’t remember how fast this particular aircraft could go, assuming she’d ever known. She was pretty sure it couldn’t make D.C. before sunrise, though, and both of the pilots were Vampire, too.

Duncan squeezed her fingers in reassurance. “We’ll be stopping in Atlanta tonight, going on to D.C. tomorrow night.”

“There are things Duncan must do immediately upon arriving,” Raphael explained. “He needs to land in Washington as soon as possible after sunset so he has the entire night to work with.”

Raphael dropped his arm over Cyn’s shoulder and tightened his hold, effectively pulling her hand away from Duncan. She smiled privately. His move seemed casual enough, but she knew he’d planned it. His vampire possessiveness couldn’t permit even Duncan to hold her hand for long. Which brought her back to her biggest complaint about this whole affair.

“I still don’t see why he has to go there all alone. Why can’t some of your people—”

“It’s taken care of, lubimaya,” Raphael said patiently. “You must trust us.”

Cyn tightened her lips against the automatic comeback that came to mind. She did trust them, but it was always possible they hadn’t thought of some detail or other. Sometimes these guys couldn’t see the forest for all those testosterone-laden trees.

Juro appeared at Raphael’s elbow. “Everything is set, my lord.” He gave Duncan a brief nod. “Good fortune, Duncan,” he said, then walked back to stand near the waiting limo.

“Sire,” Duncan said, straightening into something like attention and bowing slightly from the waist. “It is has been an honor to serve at your side for so long.”

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