Hunger Awakened(5)

By: Dee Carney


No—it was the thought of what could happen should she venture onto the road that made her tremble. The license had been taken with good cause, a fact she could grudgingly admit two years later. Still, she hadn’t had a seizure in a long while, she didn’t think. Hard to tell because of their subtlety. They probably weren’t permanently gone, but no news was good news, right? No real hope for getting better, but she’d take “not getting worse” any day of the week.

She ran her hands over him again. A quick pat-down for anything that might be dangerous—or perhaps worth hocking. Her fingers hooked inside shirt and pants pockets, but nothing surfaced. Damn it to hell, not even a dollar bill.

Alice chewed on her lip while staring out the windshield. She considered whether it would be worth trying to get into his back pocket. Bonus points for getting to cop a feel on a delectable ass, but mostly she wanted access to any wallet that might be tucked away there. Guys like him held on to thick leather wallets, the bills inside crisp and hardly used. If she could get him leaning forward. Maybe...

She eyed his bulk. No, not by herself. She’d have to get him out of the car. There simply wasn’t enough room inside it to maneuver. Maybe if she dropped him off at the hospital, she could help herself to a lost-and-found fee. Surely he wouldn’t mind.

“Lincoln and Fourth.”

Caught up in scheming, she’d failed to pay close enough attention to him. His words wrangled half a scream from her. “I thought you’d passed out.”

Bast raised a limp hand. “Drive.” It sounded as if saying that one-syllable word cost him energy he couldn’t afford to relinquish. “To Lincoln and Fourth.”

Trying not to think about the sticker value of the Ferrari, she shook her head. “I don’t have a license, and I’m not supp—”

“Please...”

Whatever else he might have said withered on his lips as Bast slumped forward again.

“Sebastian?” When he didn’t respond, Alice reached between his legs and forced her fingers to curl around the keys. “Shit,” she muttered. Her latest best friend of a word.

She took a moment to fasten the seatbelt over his torso, whispering a few quick prayers under her breath as she did. His skin was like fire, almost hot enough to make her snatch her hand away. This dude was sick and needed some medical attention, like, yesterday. She didn’t know what was at Lincoln and Fourth—a residential area, if she recalled correctly—but that couldn’t be their destination.

Alice made a decision. If she was going to put their lives in danger by driving them around, they would at least be heading in the right direction. Hope Haven Medical Center couldn’t have been more than five or ten minutes away from here.

She looked at Sebastian one final time, taking in the long dark eyelashes, his straight nose, thin lips. The long sideburns were an interesting fashion statement, but the short, thick hair kind of went with the whole James Dean look he had going. The white silk shirt hidden beneath a black leather jacket similarly matched the tight leather pants he wore. Silver-tipped black boots rounded out the ensemble, and Alice was certain of his playboy status. Nothing about him said “cheap” either, especially not his ride.

“You’d better be worth it, pretty boy,” she muttered.

The engine hummed to life, and Alice exhaled. She closed her eyes, luxuriating against the gentle vibration beneath her body and the soft cushion of the leather seat as it engulfed her. Classical music eased from the speakers, relaxing her even further. Drug dealer or not, Bast had nice taste.

Hand on the gearstick, she shifted then pulled away from the parking space. Just like riding a bike. Man, the car drove like a cloud. If she touched a pothole, damn if she could feel it. Hell, she could probably run over some roadkill, push a button a second later and car wash attendants would rain down from a helicopter to clean the tires. Rides like this didn’t happen every day for sure. Nice.

She chanced a few glances at him during the drive, in between straining her vision for any cops who might be out and about. No matter how she tried to convince herself they wouldn’t know she didn’t have a license, it didn’t stop her heart from thumping into her throat.

If she wanted to keep her sanity, nothing like finding something else to do to help. Even the gorgeous car couldn’t ease her anxiety completely. “So, Seba—Bast,” she said to his unconscious form, “how’d a guy like you end up in a place like this?” When he didn’t respond, she kept talking. “Me? Just looking for some dinner. It’s amazing what people throw away, especially near some of the trendier places.” She kept wishing he would say something. “People like you don’t worry about money or making your dollar stretch. People like me? Well, we have to count every penny.”

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