Hunger Awakened(4)

By: Dee Carney


“I’m not bleeding.” He attempted to rise again, but he’d managed to put his hand at the edge of the blood, where it slipped. “I don’t think.”

How much had he been drinking? He was too stoned to know he’d been shot or worse? “Why don’t you tell me your name?”

“Sebastian—Bast.”

Who took a perfectly good name like that and shortened it into something so ugly? Bast, indeed. “Look, Sebastian, I’m going for help.” If he was talking, he seemed okay enough to leave for a minute. “Stay here.” As if that might be a problem. He looked weaker than a wet kitten.

Sebastian’s hand, the same one that had just been slicked down with blood, shot out and caught her arm. Alice cried out at the grip, which would surely leave behind a bruise. “No!” he said.

“No?” She tried to wrench her arm away to no avail. “You need some help. I don’t think—”

Sebastian glanced up into the night sky. He scanned the stars, as if searching for something. “My car. Just to my car. I can’t stay out here like this.”

His paranoia catching, Alice couldn’t help but look around them. “Dude, I’m not trying to get in the middle—”

“My car. That’s all.”

For the first time, she noticed the way her skin heated beneath his hold. “I’m going to get you there,” she said slowly. “But then you need to do something about that fever and wherever you’re bleeding from.” No doubt his injuries explained his behavior. The blood was a mystery he was content to leave alone, and so was she. Good Samaritan duties only went so far.

If he heard her, or if he cared, she couldn’t tell. Sebastian wrapped his arms around her neck and used her as leverage. Alice almost toppled over as he rose, the solid weight of him enough to drag her back down to the ground. By the time he stood, he towered over her.

Wanting to weep for her meager clothes, Alice pressed herself against him, into the wall of muscle and heft and simultaneously into his own bloodstained clothing. Beneath the overpowering scent of blood, she smelled some cross between clean linen and coconut coming directly from him. Had they been at the beach, slathered beneath sunscreen, she could understand the memories of summers by the waves he conjured, but this man was sinfully sexy and erotically dark. Nothing summery or beachy about him.

She recognized him now. The man from not even twenty minutes ago who’d stopped to look at her while on the way into the club. Now that she knew he was in serious shit or at least seriously sick, she pushed aside stirrings of attraction and focused on getting one foot in front of the other without allowing him to bring them both down.

Sebastian reached into his back pocket and retrieved a key fob. He pressed it in the general direction of a row of cars, and they made their way forward to the one that chirruped back at them. Richard’s old toy collection, and the unforgettable prancing horse medallion, were the reasons she recognized the Ferrari Sebastian leaned against when they stopped.

“Help me. Inside.” His voice sounded shaky again.

She realized she’d been gawking at the silver vehicle worth more than she used to make in five years combined. Maybe more than five.

Between the blood, the shakes and the car, he had to be a drug dealer or something close. Had to be. “I’ll get you inside and then I’m gone.” Her damned conscience pinged. “And you need to get on a phone. Get to a hospital.”

Sebastian unfolded into the passenger’s side he opened. “No hospital. Just...inside...”

“Hey Sebastian?” She shook his shoulder and unresponsive, he slumped forward. “Bast?”

Shit.

Alice looked around. Despite being outside a crowded nightclub, no one else loitered in the parking lot. An unconscious man slouched inside an insanely expensive car next to her. They were alone at night in what wouldn’t be classified as the best part of town. She could leave him and hope to heaven someone with a kind heart found him before he died. Maybe he wouldn’t even die; his car might be stolen with him left on the cold ground in nothing more than his shirt, but that was okay, right? He’d be alive at least.

The night had begun to chill noticeably, and she still hadn’t picked a place to sleep until morning. She couldn’t stay here and wait for him. Her own survival took precedence.

Alice scanned the lot again, let out a breath and studied Sebastian’s profile.

Double shit.





Chapter Two

Alice slid into the driver’s side then stared at the keys in a jumbled heap next to Bast’s feet. Every time she reached down to retrieve them, her insides began to quiver so badly, she gave up the thought. If she had to, she could do this. She knew how to drive. The lack of a driver’s license didn’t stop that from being true.

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