Vampires Are Forever - Argeneau 8 Page 0,1

from Tiny?” Thomas asked, hurrying to the dresser drawers to find socks and underwear. Jackie Morrisey was the owner of the Morrisey Detective Agency, and Tiny and Marguerite’s boss. She was also the lifemate of his cousin Vincent.

Etienne grunted in the negative as he followed. “He still can’t reach Jackie. She and Vincent are in the wind. They’re probably locked up in a secluded cottage somewhere enjoying each other. I know, Rachel and I didn’t leave the house for several weeks after we finally got together.”

Thomas nodded as he crammed socks into the bag. He’d watched as each of his cousins found their lifemates, and everyone had disappeared for weeks afterward…all except Bastien. The head of Argeneau Enterprises hadn’t felt he could take the time away from the family company. In truth, he might as well have. The man had been working at half his usual efficiency ever since his lifemate, Terri, returned to him. While the others had disappeared for a month or so and returned able to at least hold an entire conversation again without having to rush out of the room to be alone with their lifemate, Bastien’s not taking the time to get it out of his system had just seemed to drag out the length of time during which he was easily distracted.

Thomas gave up trying to cram any more into his bag and began to zip it up. Finally admitting it was too full, he grimaced and pulled out the underwear he’d stuffed in, deciding he’d just have to go commando until he bought more in England.

“Greg tried to call mother at the Dorchester when Lissianna started having labor pains, only to be told that she’d checked out,” Etienne said unhappily.

Thomas nodded as he slowly managed to work the zipper closed. Lissianna’s lifemate had already told the family that when they arrived at the house en masse to keep him company while Lissianna gave birth to their beautiful baby girl. Their kind couldn’t go to the hospital and risk having their otherness revealed. Most immortals gave birth at home with only an immortal midwife to aid them, but Lissianna had asked Etienne’s wife, Rachel, to attend her. The woman might work in the local morgue, but she was also a doctor and had done a fine job of bringing the latest Argeneau into the world.

“Disappearing like this just isn’t like her,” Thomas said with a sigh as he finally got the zipper closed.

“No,” Etienne agreed. “Especially when she knew Lissianna was so close to giving birth. She made me promise to call if there was any sign that the baby was coming.”

“She made me give her the same promise,” Thomas admitted. “I suspect she made every one of us promise that.”

They both fell silent, contemplating what could possibly keep Marguerite Argeneau from contacting her family, or at least calling to check on her daughter. The answer was simple; death or physically not being able to call were the only things that could have kept her from doing so.

Pushing that thought away, Thomas swung the knapsack over his shoulder, snatched up the binder lying on the bedside table, and headed for the door.

“Are you composing something?” Etienne asked curiously, following him out of the room.

The question made Thomas’s hand tighten on his binder. He’d grown up in a home filled with music. Aunt Marguerite had loved all forms of music and had ingrained that same love in him as well. He had very fond memories of falling asleep as a boy to the sweet sound of her playing various piano concertos. When he’d expressed an interest, she’d taught him to play piano and guitar. He’d gone on to learn several other instruments since then.

Thomas was fourteen when he’d started his first clumsy attempts to write music. Unfortunately, Jean Claude hadn’t appreciated music and had belittled his attempts. It hadn’t taken long for Thomas to decide to keep his efforts a secret to save himself the heart ache of the old bastard’s taunts. Afraid his male cousins would take his efforts no better, Thomas had kept what he was doing a secret from them as well. Aunt Marguerite, Lissianna, and Jeanne Louise had always known, however, and praised him when the music he wrote began to get published and gain popularity back in the early nineteenth century. They’d been very upset at his insistence on publishing the music anonymously and keeping the knowledge of what he did from the others. But they’d honored his wishes. Or