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.“Get away from me!” she snarled, her face distorted in rage and hatred.She stood, turning fully to face him.“I don’t—” Theroen began, but Naomi cut him off again.“What else do you want?” she cried.“What else can you take?! First Lisette, then Two, now Stephen … I have nothing left for you! You’ve taken it all, so leave me alone.Leave me alone!”This last was a shriek, and Naomi shoved Theroen in the chest, pushing him backward.She whirled away from him again and stormed off to the edge of the room, where she leaned against the wall, covering her face with her hands and sinking to a sitting position, knees drawn up against her chest.There was a moment of surprised silence among the remaining companions.Two sighed, held up her hand to indicate that the others should wait, and made her way over to her former lover.“That wasn’t very fair,” she said in a gentle voice, and Naomi glared up at her.“Oh, here she is to talk about what’s fair,” Naomi said in a caustic tone.“You want me to say I’m sorry, is that it? You’re here to demand that I apologize to your lover because I hurt his feelings? Go away, Two.Go hold poor Theroen and tell him that it’s all right, that everything will be just fine!”Two was quiet for a moment, watching as Naomi went back to staring at her lap.Finally she said, “Naomi, what do you want from me?”Naomi looked up again, rage and grief naked on her face, her mouth twisted up into something that looked almost like a grin.“I want you to love me! I want you to tell me that it meant something to you, the time we spent together, the times when we fell asleep holding each other, the times when I put my face in your cunt and made you come.I want you to tell me that you weren’t just using me this whole time, treating me like a toy, something to be tossed to the curb as soon as your real lover returned.“I want that, but I can’t have it, can I? You never loved me.You never said those words.You made it perfectly clear that I was a stopgap, a holdover solution, an answer to a problem and nothing more.Once you had what you wanted from me you were going to leave anyway, weren’t you? Wasn’t that the plan all along? Pretend that you wanted to be with me until I gave you the blood? So, fine.You have what you want.Go away.Go back to him and leave me where you already left me.Leave me alone!”Two stood for a moment longer, trying to think of some response, something she could say that would take away Naomi’s pain and make her understand that Two hadn’t wanted any of this.She could think of nothing and so, at last, she turned and made her way back to the rest of the group.“There’s nothing more to do here,” she said to them as she walked up, “and there’s nothing any of us can do for her.Let’s just … be done with this.Let’s go home.”Chapter 30Healing Up“Blood or no blood, that arm isn’t going to grow back,” William said, glancing toward the table at the back of the cathedral.Sasha was there, collapsed in a chair, alternating sips from a large glass filled with blood and another filled with vodka.A vampire surgeon that Two didn’t know was stitching the flap of skin that had once covered her elbow over her wound, and Jakob was watching from behind him, peering over his shoulder.If Sasha was feeling any pain, she wasn’t showing it, but Two could see the dark circles under the Ay’Araf woman’s eyes from all the way across the room.“She’s got a pretty good cut on her stomach, too,” Two said.“I think she’s lucky to be alive.”“How nice for her,” Naomi commented under her breath.William glanced at her with an expression of pity but chose not to comment.They were sitting in a rough semi-circle, the five of them: Two, Theroen, Naomi, Ashayt, and William.With the exception of Jakob, Sasha, and the surgeon, the cathedral was otherwise empty of living beings.Stephen’s body lay nearby, carefully placed on one of the church pews, wrapped in a blanket.William had received a phone call from Peter Markham, confirming that Rhes and Sarah had been reunited with their daughter and that the trio had been delivered safely home.They would remain under guard until Jakob decided otherwise, but with Aros dead and the Burilgi army scattered, it seemed unlikely that they would fall under any further threat.Two looked around at her friends.Ashayt was the only member of the strike force who had managed to avoid looking like something out of a horror show.Two was drenched in the blood of the vampire whose throat Theroen had cut, now dried to a tacky, sticky mess.Naomi’s arm was soaked in her own blood, and most of the rest of her was covered in Stephen’s.Even Theroen, who had managed to avoid getting his clothes dirty in the first battle of the evening, was covered in stains, a testament to the number of Burilgi he had killed.“Jesus Christ, what a fucking night,” Two said with a sigh.She felt exhausted, too tired even to properly grieve for the loss of her friend.She knew that the reality of Stephen’s death would hit her at some point, swamp her, leave her huddled up and sobbing somewhere.She wasn’t looking forward to it.“Terrible things have happened,” Ashayt said, her voice quiet and calm and sad.“It grieves me to see violence done between vampires, and more yet to lose so brave a warrior.Stephen will be missed.”Naomi made a noise that sounded like a sob but seemed to force her tears away.She was staring at the floor, hands in her lap, her mussed and bedraggled hair hiding her face from view.Two wanted to take her hand but didn’t dare.Instead she glanced again at the rear of the cathedral [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]