Hungry For You - Argeneau Series - Book 14


Cale was just raising his hand to knock at the doorwhen it swung open. A tall fellow with short dark hair and a phone pressed to his ear peered out at him.

“Cale Valens?”

“Yes,” Cale answered, knowing the guards at the front gate had called up to the house warning of his arrival.

“Come on in.” The fellow stepped back to make way, pushing a button to end his call before offering a hand to Cale. “Justin Bricker. Most people call me Bricker.”

Cale accepted the hand, shaking it politely as he stomped his feet on the welcome mat a couple of times to remove the worst of the snow on his boots. He then stepped inside. “I was told I should speak to Garrett Mortimer.”

“Yeah, I know. The boys at the gate called the house and said as much, but Mortimer’s down at the garagewith Sam.” Bricker shut the door and then turned to face him, waving the phone vaguely. “I was just calling down there to tell him you were here, but there’s no answer. Hopefully that means they’re on their way to the house.”

“Hopefully?” Cale removed his brown leather winter coat.

“Yeah, well, they may have been getting busy in one of the cells,” Bricker explained wryly as he took the coat and quickly hung it in a closet beside the door. “They’ve only been life mates for eight or nine months and are still pretty into each other.” He closed the closet door, swung back to Cale, and then headed up the hall toward the back of the house. “Come on. I’ll get you a bag of blood while we wait.”

Cale followed, recalling what his uncle Lucian had said about these men. Mortimer and Bricker used to be partners, enforcers hunting rogues vampires, but now they ran the enforcer house together. Bricker was the younger man and backed up Mortimer, who was now in charge of all the rest of the enforcers.

“One bag or two?” Bricker asked, leading him into a large, cupboard-lined kitchen with an island in the middle.

“One is fine,” Cale murmured.

The younger immortal immediately opened a refrigerator to reveal a large amount of bagged blood stacked up alongside various mortal foodstuffs. The sight was a bit startling. Cale hadn’t eaten mortal food in more than a millennium and only ever had blood in his own refrigerator. The thought crossed his mind to wonder ifit was really hygienic to have raw meat and vegetables so close to the blood.

“O positive all right?” Bricker asked, sorting through the bags in the fridge.

“Fine.” Hygienic or not, he was hungry.

“Here you go.”

Cale accepted the bag Bricker held out with a murmured thanks, waited the few seconds it took for his canines to descend, and then quickly popped the clear bag of crimson liquid to his fangs.

“Grab a seat,” Bricker urged, using his foot to hook one of the wooden barstools tucked under the island and dragging it out for himself. He slapped a bag of blood to his own teeth as he sat on the stool.

Cale pulled a second stool out, but had barely settled on the high seat when the soft shush of sliding glass doors opening and closing sounded from the next room. He followed Bricker’s glance expectantly to the open door across from them. It led into what was obviously a dining room. The end of a dark oak table was visible, as well as an end chair, but the door and whoever had entered were out of sight. However, their voices reached the two of them easily, and Cale found himself unintentionally eavesdropping on what he soon realized was a private conversation.

“Are you sure you’re ready, love?” a man asked in solemn tones.

“Yes, of course, I’m sure,” a woman answered, although she didn’t sound all that certain in Cale’s opinion. He wondered who she was and what she was claiming to be ready for.

Apparently the male speaker had noted the uncertainty as well. “Are you, Sam? It’s been eight months and you—”

“I know,” the woman interrupted. “And I’m sorry I’ve dragged my feet about it as I have. It wasn’t because I don’t love you, Mortimer. I do, but—”

“But you didn’t want to leave your sisters,” the man said with apparent understanding.

Cale felt his eyebrows rise as he recognized the names. Mortimer was who he was here to see, but so was Sam. She apparently had a sister named Alex, and Aunt Marguerite had a “feeling” this Alex might be the woman he’d waited for his whole life.