The Ghost and the Graveyard

Chapter 30


Come Daylight
Sneaking Logan back into his room at the hospital was easier than you might think. Nightshift nurses are woefully overworked and aside from a cheery hello from the unit secretary, no one questioned us about why Logan was missing for so long. The hardest part was bringing him into the hospital without going through Emergency. We ended up rolling him through a service entrance.
Michelle and I did allow ourselves one tiny pleasure before going home for the night. We waited in an empty room next door to Logan's for his nurse to do her assessment. The wail of joy she emitted when he opened his eyes was priceless. We climbed on the elevator smiling. We'd just created a medical miracle.
"It's been quite a night, Grateful," Michelle said.
"Yes, it has. Did you ever think we'd be up to our armpits in magic and immortals?"
"Only on Halloween."
We laughed.
"Seriously girl, you know your life just got a hell of a lot more complicated," Michelle said.
"Why? My attic is free of ghosts, I have a boyfriend-sort of, and I think I'm handling this witch thing pretty well."
"Logan is alive and has a body. When you say you have a 'boyfriend-sort of,' are you talking about Rick or Logan? Judging by what you've told me, you're attracted to both."
"I'm with Rick. It's practically part of my job description."
"A relationship shouldn't be a job. Can you honestly admit that you don't feel a connection to Logan?"
I couldn't lie to Michelle, so I remained silent. Lucky for me, the doors opened, and I escaped into the hospital atrium.
Michelle didn't let it drop. "Mmmm-hmmm. I thought so. Your offer to help Logan recover was your subconscious way of maintaining a connection to him. You weren't ready to say goodbye, not really."
Thank you, mental health nurse, for that unsolicited diagnosis. "Is it wrong to not be sure? I'm not married to Rick, after all."
"It's not wrong, as long as you're honest about where things stand with both of them. Does Rick know how you feel?"
I stared at my coupled hands.
She gave me a hug and headed for her car.
I said a silent prayer that Manny wouldn't give her a hard time about being so late again.
The ride home was the perfect time to think about the last week and the way my life had changed. I hadn't agreed to marry Rick, but making love to him was a life-altering decision. It meant that I accepted my role as the Monk's Hill witch and believed I'd lived before as Rick's wife. It was a commitment to Rick, even if there wasn't a license involved. But I couldn't deny what Michelle said. Logan and I had a connection that was forged in this lifetime. As much as I thought I could love Rick, I didn't think he was in love with the real me. It was much more likely that he was in love with a memory.
I pulled into his driveway, resolved to set Rick straight. With the number of disastrous relationships I'd left in my wake, it was important for Rick to understand what he was getting himself into, that I couldn't promise him monogamy. Prudence had said that he needed to feed on me. I wasn't sure how that worked. What if my noncommittal heart altered the amount of energy I could give him? Honesty was the best policy.
Dawn lurked on the horizon. The night's icy fingers slid from my ribs, darkness lifting from my skin, scurrying from the impending sunrise. This was a new skill, a magical thing. I'd been a witch for all of forty-eight hours, and already I was changing, my cells tuning in to the force of things around me. Suddenly, I missed Prudence and wished I'd asked more questions while she was with me.
I rapped on the wood door to Rick's stone cottage. The wind chimes tinkled softly in the gentle breeze, and the smell of herbs wafted through the waning dark. The door opened, and light filtered around Rick's body. He was shirtless and barefoot, wearing only loose, straight-legged pants that hung low on his hips. Maybe he'd just shifted back. Was it a dangerous night? How many undead had he sent back to the underworld?
In the shadow of his sexy silhouette, all I could squeeze out of my mouth was, "Hello."
He didn't answer my salutation. My feet left the stone slab and I was whirled inside, his mouth finding mine under the arch of the doorway. The kiss was hard and wanting as if he were trying to drink me in. I concentrated on our connection. He was weak. He needed me.
I wrapped my legs around his waist. He planted my back against the wall and ground his hips into me, trailing his nose up my neck. The pounding of his heart came through our connection, quickening my pulse. I rode waves of palpable desire, a decadent ache blossoming deep within me, begging to be soothed. He was the only medicine for my malady.
His body stilled, pressed against mine, and he met my eyes, his need filling their hollow blackness. An unspoken question lingered there. He was an honorable man, not at all like any other man I'd ever been with.
"Yes, Rick. Yes," I whispered.
His mouth found mine again, and he leaned his weight into me, the hard bulge in his pants rubbing in just the right place. I moaned.
"The sounds you make. It lights a fire within me."
"Ditto," I said, sliding my hand between us. Down between my legs, I rubbed him through the thin material of his pants.
Rick gripped me under the butt and carried me into his bedroom, tossing me on the bed. The sunrise filtered through the filmy window dressings and gave me an impressive view of his expansive chest. God, he was gorgeous. All lean muscle and tanned skin. My heart broke from the gate and galloped around my psyche. As he crawled on top of me, I opened for him, more than ready for anything he had in mind. I untied the string at his waist and yanked his pants down to his knees. In one graceful move, he pressed his lower body toward the ceiling and kicked them off. His knees slowly descended on either side of me in a move I'd only seen male gymnasts perform on television.
I had some moves myself. I slid down between his legs and licked a wet trail up his shaft. I circled my tongue around the head, tasting him. Lightning bolts shot through the length of my body. What I was doing was a turn-on, but through our connection, my world became lips, tongue, and wet heat.
He growled. In a heartbeat, my scrubs landed in ribbons on the floor. I crab-walked backward on the bed, watching Rick remove what scraps of fabric still clung to me. The added space gave me room to appreciate the view. He was glorious. Dark and dangerous. I traced the scythe-shaped pattern of his scar-the scar I gave him. The thought was highly erotic, and I leaned in to lick the raised skin.
I worked my hands down his abs and was suddenly airborne. When I landed, he was under me.
"Oh," I said, feeling the head of him pressed against my slit. His hands circled my waist, thumbs caressing my bottom ribs. I sank deeper, taking the tip of him into me and watching his breath hitch in his throat. His jaw lengthened at the tease, the animal within fighting for the surface.
He leaned his head back, closed his eyes and raised his hips, plunging himself deeper into me. The pleasure was so intense, I could have come right then, but I was afraid if I did it would bring him to orgasm and cut this short. I wanted more, much more.
Instead, I rolled off him and the bed, landing on the balls of my feet. I glanced over my shoulder and grinned. "When you catch me, you can have me."
With a squeal, I ran out of the bedroom and to the opposite side of the couch. He was there in a split second, playful and hard. He circled after me to the right, and I dodged left. He changed direction, but so did I. Then in a leap that was humanly impossible, he was over the couch and behind me. His right hand wrapped itself in my hair, pulling almost to the point of pain. His left circled my waist from behind. He lowered his lips to my ear.
"I have caught you, mi cielo. You are mine." He bent me over the back of the couch and entered me.
Even though I was still wet, I inhaled sharply as he stretched me to my limit. Slowly at first, he worked his shaft in and out, raking his fingers through my hair, down my back, around and over my breasts. He found a rhythm and reached around my hips to stroke between my legs.
His size and strength was almost painful. I was sure I'd have bruises, but all I could think about was how I wanted every part of him inside of me. The pressure built until I burst apart at the seams, screaming his name, and still he worked me until I'd come so many times my mind could form only incoherent thoughts, most revolving around pleasure and Rick.
Finally, he bucked, shivered, and draped himself across my back. A wet kiss landed on my neck, followed by a sharp nip. I stiffened. My blood poured into his mouth. Slowly, he started stroking again. The decadent tension built within me once more. I was hungry, so damned hungry. I turned my head and bit down on his inner arm, breaking the skin.
He moaned against my neck.
A mind-blowing orgasm ripped through both of us as his blood washed into my mouth, fueled by the magic that bound us to each other. I came again and again, shattering around him.
When he finished, we lay there, a heap of flesh on the back of his couch. He pulled out and offered me his hand.
"I'm not sure I can walk," I said honestly.
He beamed, tossed me into his arms, and carried me to his bed.