Born to Bite - Argeneau Series - Book 13
“You’re late.” Lucian’s growled greeting made Armand Argeneau grimace as he slid onto the bench seat opposite him in the diner’s only occupied booth. A “Hello, how are you?” would have been nice, but it also wasn’t something he’d expect from the older immortal. Lucian wasn’t known for being warm and fuzzy.
“I had some things to do at the farm before I could leave,” Armand said calmly, glancing over the man’s roast beef dinner with disinterest before gazing around the quiet diner. It was after nine, almost closing time, and they were the only customers. He didn’t even see a waitress in evidence and supposed she was in the back helping with cleanup.
“Yes, of course,” Lucian murmured, setting down his fork to pick up a warm, crusty dinner roll dripping with butter. “We can’t expect that wheat of yours to grow all by itself, can we?”
Armand scowled irritably as he watched him bite into the roll with relish. “A little respect for a farmer who grows the food you’re eating wouldn’t go amiss…especially since you appear to be enjoying it so much.”
“I am,” Lucian acknowledged with a grin, and then arched an eyebrow. “Jealous?”
Armand merely shook his head and turned his gaze out the window, but he was jealous. Lucian’s eating was a result of finding his life mate. It had reawakened old appetites both of them had lost long ago. There wasn’t an unmated immortal alive who wouldn’t envy that, including him.
“So?” He glanced back to Lucian to see he’d set aside the bun and was now chasing peas around his plate, stabbing at the little green succulents with his fork. “What was so important that you had to drive down here to see me? And why the hell did you insist on my coming out to the diner? The farm is only another five-minute drive. You could have come there.”
Lucian gave up stabbing the peas and instead scraped them across the plate into the mashed potatoes. He then scooped up a forkful of the combination before saying, “I had a favor to ask you and didn’t want anyone at the house to overhear.”
“There’s no one at the house,” Armand murmured, watching with fascination as Lucian popped the forkful of food into his mouth and began to chew. Judging by his expression and murmur of pleasure, he really seemed to be enjoying the food, which was kind of depressing since the smell wasn’t even tempting Armand, and really the food looked like slop to him; brown meat, white potatoes with a brown sauce, and ugly green peas. Not very appetizing at all. Grimacing to himself, Armand asked as Lucian swallowed, “So what’s this favor?”
Lucian hesitated and then raised his eyebrows. “Not going to ask me how Thomas and his new life mate are doing?”
Armand felt his mouth tighten at the mention of his son and his new wife, but couldn’t resist asking, “How are they?”
“Very well. They’re in Canada at the moment, visiting,” Lucian answered, and then turned his attention back to his food as he asked, “You haven’t met her yet, have you?”
“No,” Armand muttered, watching him stab some salad and eat it.
Lucian chewed and swallowed and then asked with mild curiosity, “Did you ever get to meet Nicholas’s Annie?”
Armand hesitated, but then simply said, “No. Now what’s this favor?”
Lucian peered at him for a moment, but then turned his attention to cutting into his beef and announced, “I need a safe house for one of my enforcers for a couple of weeks.”
“And you were thinking I could supply that?” Armand asked with surprise.
Lucian shrugged as he chewed and swallowed and then said, “You’re surprised? I don’t know why. You live way the hell out here in the backwoods. No one but myself and Thomas know where the farm is, and this is a rinky-dink little town where no one’s likely to see her.”
“Her?” Armand asked curiously.
“Eshe d’Aureus,” he said, cutting off another piece of beef. “Castor’s daughter.”
“Castor d’Aureus,” Armand murmured with respect. He’d never gotten the chance to meet the man, but he certainly knew the name. Castor was a hero to their people. Way back in the early days when the immortals had joined the rest of the world, one of their number, a no-fanger named Leonius Livius, had caused trouble for both the mortals and immortals alike. So much trouble, in fact, it had forced the other immortals to form a council and hunt down him and his progeny. It was Lucian and Castor who had